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

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

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

How to start writing your CV

How to start writing your CV

Job Search: Writing Your CV/Resume: How to start writing your CV

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

How to start writing your CV – you’d be surprised how many people have never had to write a CV! It can be a daunting task!

How do you begin to put your career history on paper?  And what is the right balance of skill, experience and achievements to record? If you get it wrong your CV can look unbalanced. Or, even worse, it can become unreadable!

You want to show a successful career progression. This means making the next opportunity (the one you have just decided to apply for) look like a logical next step! Making it look like a natural fit, can put you ahead in the job’s market.  It marks you out as the candidate they want.

Your resume needs to be a well written, clear and concise!  So format is important! Don’t go for complicated designs with tables and fancy fonts.  Use a simple, clean, format that is well organized and easily scanned. That will attract the recruiter’s eye. And, often more important, it is easy for the recruiter’s software to process.

How to start writing your CV – produce a baseline CV

Produce a baseline CV. Then be ready to adapt it to each job that you apply for. That way you can target your qualifications, skills, and key strengths. And, include relevant “keywords” like  again with the sifting software in mind). You want to appeal to the person advertising the job at first glance!

Grabbing the recruiter’s attention is all important –  you probably have 30 seconds or less to make an impression! So put the most relevant information upfront in your headline.  And include keywords relevant to the advert or spec like “adaptable,” or “innovative”.

Make sure you CV is simple to read. Concentrate in terms of experience on the last 10 years. Summarize anything earlier.  Focus on your achievements and the benefits you have delivered. Show the benefits you will bring!

One of the major advantages of working with a career coach is that you can get your baseline CV in good order. Then you can learn how to adapt it.  If you would like help with your CV, get in touch at this link. I would like to discuss how I can help you.

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

 

Reapplying For Your Own Job

Reapplying For Your Own Job

Career Development: When You Have to Reapply For Your Own Job

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

Reapplying for your own job – far too many organizations now ask their staff to reapply for their own jobs.  Sometimes this is because there has been reorganization after, say, a merger.   And quite often it happens during downsizing on the pretext of reorganization. Whatever the reason, it usually causes anger, frustration and just plain fear among employees. It is certainly not the best way to keep up morale.

If it is your job on the line, how do you go about surviving the storm?

Well, first, telling the company exactly what you think of what they are doing isn’t going to help your application. Instead, it is better to vent in private with someone who you really trust.  While at work try to stay positive to make the best of a difficult situation.

Reapplying for your own job –  now is the time to prove your worth

Don’t make assumptions about your value to the organization. Now is the time to prove your worth.  Don’t assume that all the good things you have contributed have been registered; you need to make sure you get them on the record.

Recognise the reality of the situation. Your job is on the line and you are in competition. Do not start to play dirty tricks but recognise that in this kind of climate others might feel free to do so. Keep your wits about you while still trying to be a good team player. (Nobody said this was easy).

Work on polishing up your CV/resume to show the value you have added and the contribution you have delivered. Quantify your results and include hard facts about delivery.  Make sure you show your competence and contribution fully.

Target your CV to the new job

Target your CV to the new job just as you would when applying from outside the organization.  If you need to offer a cover letter make sure you enthuse about future possibilities.  If it is a completely new role show how your skills are transferable and say why you want that role in particular even if it is the only one available – show how you can meet their needs.

It may be hard to do but work on your relationship with managers who are going to be part of the future organization.

At the end of the day, if you can’t come to terms with this all this, then it might be better to move on and seek new opportunities in a new organization. But even If you decide to leave it is still in your long-term interest to stay on good terms with your managers.

Sorry this isn’t the pleasantest topic to think about and some of the advice above may be uncomfortable.  You have to make your ow judgement about just how important having this job is to you and how far you are prepared to go to stay around.

Career ciaches like me are around to help you go through this kind of process. We can help you to thrive in difficult time, Get in touch at this link – I would like to discuss how I can help.

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

 

Networking – Top 10 Tips

Networking Tips

Job Search and Career Development – Top 10 Networking Tips

Advice from Wendy Smith. Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career. She is the author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – find Wendy’s books on Amazon 

Networking Tips – whether you are looking for work or looking for promotion at work, knowing how to network and work a crowd is invaluable. So here are my top 10 tips.

1. First – find your crowd. Go to every likely event that you can. Even in these days of virtual communication, personal contact makes all the difference. The more networking events, professional conferences, job fairs, professional associations, senior meetings, board meetings and other gatherings you go to, the better your chance of meeting someone who can help you. Getting into meetings and events with senior staff at work gets you noticed.
2. Networking Tips – don’t let lack of confidence be a barrier. If you necessary go with a friend; if you are nervous of crowds take a willing friend along. It can be much easier to have a conversation when you’re not the only one trying to think of what to say. If you don’t have someone to bring, then find the out layer on the edge crowd when you get there and start a conversation. Ask how they got there, perhaps, and who do they know. The chances are they are as nervous as you and will be grateful that you spoke to them. Don’t be shy or embarrassed that you’re unemployed. So are millions of other good people.
3. Smile. Smiles are contagious and they show energy. The more you smile the more pleasant the reception you’ll get – people like people who smile.
4. Do your introduction. Prepare your short introduction/elevator speech before you get there and practice saying it.
5. Keep the conversation going. After you start a conversation by introducing yourself, keep up the momentum. It’s much easier to converse when you’re on first name terms with the person you are talking to – so exchange names. Then ask a question using their first name. Once you’ve said hello, ask the person you’re talking to about their job or their field of interest. Show a genuine interest in them and what they are doing – people usually love talking about what they do. If you ask an open-ended question like “What do you think about…” you’ll be able to keep the conversation rolling.
6. Be prepared to answer questions. If the person you’re talking to seems interested in you and asks questions – answer them fully and don’t be dismissive of what you have to offer. Be prepared to explain what qualifications and skills you have and what you are looking for. If you are in employment, be ready to talk about your job and make it interesting.
7. Give out your Business Cards. Have business cards printed with your contact information (name, address, phone, email, LinkedIn profile, etc.) and ready to hand out. That way it’s easy for people to get in touch with you. Keep in them in your pocket or the side of your bag so you can get to them without making a production out of it.
8. Get Business Cards and offer help if you can. If you’re at a professional function, collect business cards. Send a follow up email thanking the person for talking to you. Let them know you appreciate anything they can do to help. Offer to help and contacts if you can. “Giving to get” works every time. Offering to help someone else with their career goals or with job leads, will pay you back with more help than you might imagine.
9. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Spend a few minutes discussion learning about others and talking about your goals, then move on. The more people you talk to, the more opportunities you’ll have.
10. Networking Tips – Don’t Be Negative. People don’t like negativity, so don’t bad mouth your (old) job, your (old) boss and the company. Rather put a positive spin on your situation and your future plans.

Wendy Smith is a Career Coach and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link

Resources to help your job search

In the job market, there are always lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket-book.

A concise and practical little work book, it is for all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help both  job search and career resilience. Get in touch at the email address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype – email wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com to find out more

Panic at work – When Panic Becomes the Norm at Work!

Panic at work – When Panic Becomes the Norm at Work!

Advice from Wendy Smith. Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career. She is the author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – find Wendy’s books on Amazon 

Panic at work –  a few years ago I worked for an organization where panic was the cultural norm. This meant that if people were not running round the corridors screaming at each other about what needed to be done, the boss thought something was wrong. It was as if he assumed we were all too stupid to understand the priorities or we were just plain lazy.

That panic at work culture led to lots of unhappiness and a significant amount of bullying. On top of that, the quality of the work delivered was never better than just good enough and often not that. Given this was a finance section responsible in those days for overseeing huge budgets, the results were pretty disastrous. People were made illby the stress.

I went into the section with a reputation as a good manager. But I lacked the confidence necessary to hold out against the culture. By the end of six months, I was panicking and shouting at people too.

One day the consequences were brought home to me in a way that is still painful to remember. At a performance review, a member of my team had the courage to tell me the effects the bad behaviour was having on him. I have never felt more ashamed.

Panic at work – changing the culture needs confidence

His courage gave me the confidence to face my manager about the climate at work. He didn’t like hearing it and he didn’t want to change. In the end, and with threats of my moving on, he agreed to try another way. It wasn’t easy for him but he made the effort. And we were lucky that the team gave us the benefit of the doubt and were willing to work with us. The results were impressive and we never went back to “running round like headless chickens”.

Perhaps you work in an organization that hasn’t learned the same lesson. What is it like to work there and what is the effect on you and your own standards? Don’t wait as long as I did to accept that change is needed. Do what you can to bring about that change.

If you can’t bring about change, consider moving on. Do you really want to share responsibility for the harm it is causing you and the people round you?

If you need help to bringing harmony back to your life at work, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith, Career Coach and Life Coach

Wendy Smith is a Career Coach and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link

Resources to help your job search

In the job market, there are always lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket-book.

Panic at work

A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little work book, it is for all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL