Reducing job choice risks

Reducing job choice risks

Career Development: The fine art of taking risks, living with “what ifs” and not having regrets

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

Reducing job choice risks – we know that people who make career plans and have a career goal are usually more successful.  One occasion when having a clear plan is particularly useful, is when it comes to deciding between opportunities. Reducing job choice risksLet us suppose you are one of those lucky people who has been offered two good jobs.  How do you decide between them?   If you have a goal and a plan to achieve it, then you have a map of the territory you need to travel to make your decision.

Reducing job choice risks – have a plan

If you have a plan and a goal, you can set your criteria for selection.  These would be mine! Which of these two jobs is;

  • Most compatible with my career plan and the goal I have set myself.
  • Provides the money I need to support myself,
  • Meets my needs to exercise autonomy and express my our own special talents and creativity
  • Provides a boss I find inspiring and a team I want to work with
  • Fits in with the rest of my life 

This is my list for reducing job choice risks. You have to make your own, I’m afraid.  But, however you decide, you need to recognize that your choice brings with it an element of risk.  Even though you think you have done your homework well.  You have done lots of research on the organization, asked lots of questions and consulted contacts who have encountered them in the past.  Still, when you start , work it is often quite different to what you expected.  It may turn out not to be the exact fit you thought it was. And that boss may turn out to be human , just like the rest of us,  and to have flaws. That is the risk you take with any job.

Making no choice is not an option.  You make the best choice you can! But making a choice always comes with risks. It is always possible the other job could have turned out better.  But how much use is spending time thinking about that?Surely it is better to commit yourself to the job you have taken and do your best in it. Wasting time on regrets and thinking about what might have been doesn’t do anything good for you at all.  It simply erodes your enthusiasm and your ability to shine where you are. But remember reducing job choice risks is helped by having a plan.

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

STAR Stories Make You a Star!

STAR Stories Make You a Star!

STAR Stories – Writing STAR stories is a way to prepare not only to write your CV but also to answer questions at interview.  This will be particularly important if the organisation you want to join, or contract with, is committed to competency based interviewing  or wants evidence of what you have done so far!  Your STAR stories help to provide evidence of just how competent you are.
 
And preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self confidence, particularly if you are going through a difficult period at work.
 
Writing your stories
 
The STAR method means that for each of your major achievements you will set out the;
  • S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
  • T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
  • A – Action, what you did and what skills you used, how you behaved
  • R – Result – Outcome, what happened – what were the benefits and how could you measure them?   How did the organisation respond?
People like hearing a well told story.  And telling your stories well will ensure you are memorable for the right reasons; so long as they are not too long, they remain positive and they are realistic!
 
You will not put all detail from your STAR stories into your CV, but it really helps to remind yourself of the past.
 
At this stage I want you to go right back to the beginning of your career. 
  1. Use your laptop or simply get a notebook and note down all the good things you have achieved. We are talking here about your personal successes
  2. Don’t spend time on the things that you don’t feel good about
    !  But a whole programme
    or initiative doesn’t have to have been a success for your part of it to be something you are proud of!  
  3. Now pick at least 10 achievements across your career. It will help you later if you include at least five from the more recent past.  But there is no limit to how many STAR stores you can produce.
  4. For each achievement, write a STAR story, setting out what happened and clearly explaining your contribution.
  5. Of course you can write as much or as little as you like about each success.  But at this stage about one page of A4 for each is usually sufficient.
  6. Start with your early achievements and work forward. 
  7. Do your research if necessary about times, places and events.  You are building a portfolio to be proud of so make sure your stories are accurate!
  8. After you have completed each story take a pause and review!  Enjoy your success.  When you have completed five lay them out before them and feel proud – I bet you had forgotten how good your were!   
  9. When you are ready, type them up and print them out on good quality paper!  
  10. Put them in a folder with your name on the front!  

You have begun – your job search portfolio has its foundations. 

By the way STAR stories don’t have to be confined to paid employment.  Have you had a voluntary role? Are there things you have done for your local community?  Well write the stories and put them in!  They will all serve to show just what a valuable and competent person you really are!
 
And I would love to hear how you get on.  If you have any questions or you need help, please get in touch.


Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Choosing the right job

Choosing the right job

Career Development: The fine art of taking risks, living with “what ifs” and not having regrets

Choosing the right job – how do you decide which job is right for you? We know that people who make career plans and have a career goal are usually more successful.  One occasion when having a clear plan is particularly useful is when it comes to deciding between opportunities. Let us suppose you are one of those lucky people, very lucky in the present climate, who has been offered two good jobs.  How do you decide between them?   If you have a goal and a plan to achieve it, then you have a map of the territory you need to travel to make your decision.

Choosing the right job – criteria!

If you have a plan and a goal, you can set your criteria for selection.  These would be mine! Which of these two jobs is;

  • Most compatible with my career plan and the goal I have set myself.
  • Provides the money I need to support myself,
  • Meets my needs to exercise autonomy and express my our own special talents and creativity
  • Provides a boss I find inspiring and a team I want to work with
  • Fits in with the rest of my life 

This is my list – you have to make your own, I’m afraid.  But however you decide, you need to recognize that your choice brings with it an element of risk.  Even though you think you have done your homework well.  You have done lots of research on the organization, asked lots of questions and consulted contacts who have encountered them in the past.  Still, when you start work it is different to what you expected, because all jobs are to some extent.  It may turn out not to be the exact fit you thought it was and that boss may turn out to be human , just like the rest of us,  and to have flaws. That is the risk you take with any job.

Making no choice is not an option.  You make the best choice you can! But making a choice always comes with risks. It is always possible the other job could have turned out better.  But how much use is spending time thinking about that?  Surely it is better to commit yourself to the job you have taken and do your best in it.  I’m not suggesting that you should stay put if you are being badly treated but let us assume it remains a reasonable job with reasonable people.  Then wasting time on regrets and thinking about what might have been doesn’t do anything good for you at all.  It simply erodes your enthusiasm and your ability to shine where you are.

And yet I encounter time and again people who are spending time on “what ifs” and “if onlys”.  They become so absorbed in the day dream of how it could have been that they lose the ability to focus on the here and now and be happy where they are.  Don’t let that happen to you?  If you find yourself starting down that track imagine a big Stop Sign.  Pull yourself up and make a list of all the good things about where you are now. Then go out and do something, don’t spend time ruminating – that way lies unhappiness. If all else fail get in touch with someone like me – work with a coach or counsellor and learn how to focus on the present – that way lies happiness and success.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! To find out more email: wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US. 

A free trial/consultation allows you to give phone coaching a real trial without any financial risk. And remember there are great benefits to be achieved from coaching by phone or Skype.

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

 

  • Career Development – The Value of a Career Plan and Making One!
  • Job Search – Funny Interview Mistakes Not To Make
  • Job Search Techniques To Help You Stand Out From The Crowd
  • Why Telephone Coaching Works

 

Changing Job Titles On Your CV

Changing Job Titles On Your CV

Changing Job Titles On Your CV
Image via Wikipedia

Changing job titles on your CV is risky as this post from Dawn Rasmussen points out.

“True confession time: Did you ever ‘tweak’ a job title on your résumé because the title you worked under didn’t quite fit the work that you were doing?

The truth is (and I’ve seen this a lot with clients as a résumé writer), many people have done at least some ‘creative job title engineering’ at some point… the fear of being caught diminishes simply as time has worn on, and as that particular job record slides further back into history, and the inhibitions to keep to the facts sometimes wear off as job seekers try to provide a more accurate snapshot of the work that they did.

But did you know that when you change your actual job title of record to something different on your résumé, it is seen as lying by [some] human resource personnel? …”

You can read the rest of this interesting post about the dangers of  changing job titles on your CV at following link

Modifying Resume Job Titles Risky… Unless You’re Honest | The Savvy Intern by YouTern.

Dawn Rasmussen, CMP is the president of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services.

Modifying Resume Job Titles Risky… Unless You’re Honest by Dawn Rasmussen

Résumé Gëlle Fra. Statue vum Claus Cito eegen ...
Image via Wikipedia

True confession time: Did you ever ‘tweak’ a job title on your résumé because the title you worked under didn’t quite fit the work that you were doing?

The truth is (and I’ve seen this a lot with clients as a résumé writer), many people have done at least some ‘creative job title engineering’ at some point… the fear of being caught diminishes simply as time has worn on, and as that particular job record slides further back into history, and the inhibitions to keep to the facts sometimes wear off as job seekers try to provide a more accurate snapshot of the work that they did.

But did you know that when you change your actual job title of record to something different on your résumé, it is seen as lying by human resource personnel?

You can read the rest of this interesting post from Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, who is the president of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services on the YouTern Website at the following link

Modifying Resume Job Titles Risky… Unless You’re Honest | The Savvy Intern by YouTern.

Identifying transferable skills; a core ingredient of a successful career change

Today’s guest post is from Sian Case of Nail That Job.  With a small and friendly support team, they can help you at every stage of your job search journey.

I’m a recruiter and trainer of recruiters who also supports job seekers from a wide range of industries to present themselves effectively to prospective employers.

I think that most job seekers are aware that they have transferable skills but are rarely confident about identifying or describing them clearly. This is vital when you are looking for work in new fields and have to convince a recruiter that you can achieve tasks in unfamiliar settings.

Let’s start with a definition: transferable skills are effective behaviours and application of knowledge and understanding that you have learned from all your life experiences so far. You are used to displaying them in one particular context and are perfectly capable of transferring them to new contexts.

I often recommend the STAR technique, described in Wendy’s blog on CV writing, part 2:
Situation – describe the situation/issue you were dealing with
Task – what, specifically, did you have to do?
Action- what action did you take?
Result – what was the outcome/impact for your organisation/team/customer/end user of your service?

I’ve found that a useful way to identify transferable skills is to apply the STAR format to 4 or 5 examples of achievements from life experiences, not work experiences. I’ve heard some cracking achievements described from time spent on travelling, childcare, supporting elderly/vulnerable relatives, voluntary work, organising social activities, running sports or interest societies, local community campaigning, etc.

The key learning from this exercise is to discover just how many core work skills, (e.g. prioritising, decision making, managing stress, planning and organising, influencing skills, leadership experience, team working, budgeting, etc.) you learned in a non-work context and currently use those skills daily in paid employment. It also demonstrates to a potential employer that you understand how to assess, describe and evaluate the transferable skills you have to offer and that you are still learning.  You have the capacity to build your skills further in new contexts in response to new demands.

I’d really encourage all job seekers who are looking to change direction significantly to build at least one core skill into your CV that you first practised in a non- work environment. Try it and see how it enhances the issues of flexibility and versatility on your CV.

Sian Case

Email:  sian@nailthatjob.co.uk  Phone: 01789 740948

Website  http://www.nailthatjob.co.uk

  • >Transferable Skills (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Writing your CV! Part 1 The Basics (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Writing Your CV Part 2 Making Choices (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Writing your CV! Part 3 Pondering on CVs; language,confidentiality, competencies and referees! (leavingthepublicsector.net)

Building Your Portfolio – STAR Stories Make You a Star!

>

I hope that we are going to provide you with lots of resources here to help you move into your new life, including advice on writing your CV.  

If you want to find work, directly employed or as a contractor, you are going to need to describe your achievements so far. Getting ready to do that can be a real boost to your self confidence, if you go about it in the right way.

Writing STAR stories is a way to prepare not only to write your CV but also to answer questions at interview.  This will be particularly important if the organisation you want to join, or contract with, is committed to competency based interviewing  or wants evidence of what you have done so far!  Your STAR stories help to provide evidence of just how competent you are.

But preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self confidence, particularly if you are going through a difficult period at work.

Writing your stories

The STAR method means that for each of your major achievements you will set out the;
  • S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
  • T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
  • A – Action, what you did and what skills you used, how you behaved
  • R – Result – Outcome, what happened – what were the benefits and how could you measure them?   How did the organisation respond?
People like hearing a well told story.  And telling your stories well will ensure you are memorable for the right reasons; so long as they are not too long, they remain positive and they are realistic!

You will not put all detail from your STAR stories into your CV, but it really helps to remind yourself of the past.

At this stage I want you to go right back to the beginning of your career. 
  1. Use your laptop or simply get a notebook and note down all the good things you have achieved. We are talking here about your personal successes
  2. Don’t spend time on the things that you don’t feel good about!  But a whole programmeor initiative doesn’t have to have been a success for your part of it to be something you are proud of!  
  3. Now pick at least 10 achievements across your career. It will help you later if you include at least five from the more recent past.  But there is no limit to how many STAR stores you can produce.
  4. For each achievement, write a STAR story, setting out what happened and clearly explaining your contribution.
  5. Of course you can write as much or as little as you like about each success.  But at this stage about one page of A4 for each is usually sufficient.
  6. Start with your early achievements and work forward. 
  7. Do your research if necessary about times, places and events.  You are building a portfolio to be proud of so make sure your stories are accurate!
  8. After you have completed each story take a pause and review!  Enjoy your success.  When you have completed five lay them out before them and feel proud – I bet you had forgotten how good your were!   
  9. When you are ready, type them up and print them out on good quality paper!  
  10. Put them in a folder with your name on the front!  

You have begun – your portfolio has its foundations.

By the way STAR stories don’t have to be confined to paid employment.  Have you had a voluntary role? Are there things you have done for your local community?  Well write the stories and put them in!  They will all serve to show just what a valuable and competent person you really are!

And I would love to hear how you get on.  
Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason
@wisewolfcoaching.com

>Building Your Portfolio – STAR Stories Make You a Star!

>

I hope that we are going to provide you with lots of resources here to help you move into your new life, including advice on writing your CV.  

If you want to find work, directly employed or as a contractor, you are going to need to describe your achievements so far. Getting ready to do that can be a real boost to your self confidence, if you go about it in the right way.

Writing STAR stories is a way to prepare not only to write your CV but also to answer questions at interview.  This will be particularly important if the organisation you want to join, or contract with, is committed to competency based interviewing  or wants evidence of what you have done so far!  Your STAR stories help to provide evidence of just how competent you are.

But preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self confidence, particularly if you are going through a difficult period at work.

Writing your stories

The STAR method means that for each of your major achievements you will set out the;
  • S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
  • T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
  • A – Action, what you did and what skills you used, how you behaved
  • R – Result – Outcome, what happened – what were the benefits and how could you measure them?   How did the organisation respond?
People like hearing a well told story.  And telling your stories well will ensure you are memorable for the right reasons; so long as they are not too long, they remain positive and they are realistic!

You will not put all detail from your STAR stories into your CV, but it really helps to remind yourself of the past.

At this stage I want you to go right back to the beginning of your career. 
  1. Use your laptop or simply get a notebook and note down all the good things you have achieved. We are talking here about your personal successes
  2. Don’t spend time on the things that you don’t feel good about
    !  But a whole programme
    or initiative doesn’t have to have been a success for your part of it to be something you are proud of!  
  3. Now pick at least 10 achievements across your career. It will help you later if you include at least five from the more recent past.  But there is no limit to how many STAR stores you can produce.
  4. For each achievement, write a STAR story, setting out what happened and clearly explaining your contribution.
  5. Of course you can write as much or as little as you like about each success.  But at this stage about one page of A4 for each is usually sufficient.
  6. Start with your early achievements and work forward. 
  7. Do your research if necessary about times, places and events.  You are building a portfolio to be proud of so make sure your stories are accurate!
  8. After you have completed each story take a pause and review!  Enjoy your success.  When you have completed five lay them out before them and feel proud – I bet you had forgotten how good your were!   
  9. When you are ready, type them up and print them out on good quality paper!  
  10. Put them in a folder with your name on the front!  

You have begun – your portfolio has its foundations.


By the way STAR stories don’t have to be confined to paid employment.  Have you had a voluntary role? Are there things you have done for your local community?  Well write the stories and put them in!  They will all serve to show just what a valuable and competent person you really are!

And I would love to hear how you get on.  

If you have any questions or you need help, please get in touch with me at wendymason@leavingthepublicsector.net



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 &nbsp
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