Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search – Have you been searching for a new job for a while now?  Hard isn’t it to keep up that energy?  But there are new and exciting opportunities out there, if you can re-energise your quest. Here are some tips to help you refresh your job search.

Update your image and your attitude.

Give your confidence a boost – revamp your image!  How about a new hairstyle?Consider a new style of dress.  What kind of change could you make as an outward sign that something has changed? Make a change to represent the new you and your new approach.

Work hard on your commitment to positive thinking and your self-belief. If you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop in your tracks. Have a day when negative thinking and doubt is not allowed in your life. Give yourself a holiday from worry! Catch any negative thinking and flip it over in mind. Think of yourself not so much as looking for a job but, rather, looking for an opportunity to add value. You know that given the right opportunity, that is exactly what you will do. Think every day about the benefits that you will bring to your new employer.

Revamp Your CV/Résumé

An important step in every job search is to equip yourself with a CV that really demonstrates you, your skills and your abilities. How good is your CV?  Take time now to check it and remember this CV is just a baseline that you will tailor for each new role.  Show evidence of your ability to deliver. Get in touch with me if you would like some advice on re-vamping your CV.

Consider new options

Time to think about radical new options. Changing careers isn’t easy. Nor is it as hard as you might imagine. I’ve done it successfully four times in my life. I enjoyed each career at the time. But there came a time to consider new options. Changing this way has helped me to come to terms with a changing economic environment. Each new direction built upon the experience and knowledge gained in the last one. Get in touch if you would like some advice on things to consider when considering a career change.

Find New Ways to Network

Find new people to network with using social media.  Are you making the most of sites like LinkedIn?  Are you approaching social networking seriously? It can provide lots of new opportunities. Brush up both general and social networking skills  – there is lots of advice around.

Find yourself a coach

A Career Coach will work with you on all the practical aspects of applying for work.  The coach will help you to look at your achievements and results so far. You will learn how you can build on them to make your next career move work out well. A good coach will help you build your confidence and maximise your chances of landing the right job.

Looking for a new job is a big challenge. But with a positive attitude and the right tools and support, you can be successful. You will find lots of resources here on this blog. And I offer a free half hour consultation, so get in touch. I will be happy to show you how career coaching can make that essential difference to your job search.

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

         

Managing Older Workers

Managing Older Workers

Why don’t you want to manage older workers?

Managing older workers! We hear a lot about the efforts required to get young people into work. And, of course, that is important. But spare a thought for those managing older workersat the other end of the age spectrum. There remain those who dismiss the suggestion of hiring at older without even thinking about why!

There may be lots of reasons given, of course, as to why older workers are not a first choice. For example, employers often quote a lack of mental flexibility and an unwillingness to learn new things. But, those reasons may not be valid for large numbers of older workers. Check out the age profile of those choosing to follow online courses provided by organisations like FutureLearn in the UK. You will be surprised how many are over 60.

Sadly, though, many of those making hiring decisions continue to believe older workers don’t perform as well as those between 25 and 35. In fact 25 to 35 appears to be the new “golden zone” for recruits. Older workers are said to demand higher pay, cost more in terms of resources, resist change and aren’t prepared to fit in with a team. As a result , carefully disguised, age discrimination is widespread.

Managing older workers: does it require a different approach?

Managing older workers does not require a hugely different approach from managing young people. But some younger managers still find the prospect daunting. So they do their best to avoid it. And, the biggest concern employers’ express about hiring older workers is that there will be conflicts when they are managed by younger supervisors. In the US, it is said that an incredible 88 percent of employers worry about hiring older workers because they fear such conflicts.

Managing someone older than you, seems to touch a very raw nerve. And there can be a high level of distrust on either side. So how can managers get the best out of their older workers?

Getting the best out of older workers!

In most circumstances, older workers are just like other workers. They are unlikely to respond well in a command and control culture. Except in an emergency,  most workers don’t respond well to being “given orders”. But, they will respond well to an intelligent and enlightened leadership style. This means communicating clearly about issues and challenges.

Older workers, like others, welcome being involved in decision making and having tasks delegated to them. Give an older worker responsibility and most will give you their all. Older worker will a wealth of experience. Why not give them the chance to share it?

Like others, they will expect you to give them recognition for what they have achieved. But why not reward the wisdom they share with you. If you give your older workers the opportunity, their work and the intellectual capital they bring, will shine for your organisation, just like the grey hair on their heads.

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

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

         

Favourites at work

Favourites at work

Managing People – The Dangers of Having Favourites !

Favourites at work – many, many years moons ago, I worked with children.  They were boys between the ages of seven and eleven. And, for me, they were at the most interesting stage in their development.  I saw them gaining in awareness and personality with views of their own about pretty much everything.  It was tempting to spend time with a particular child that you liked. This would have been at the expense of a child that really needed your attention. Sometime later I found the same thing could happen in nursing. That patient who was so appealing might be lavished with greater care. Favouring a particular patient or a particular child would have been, at the very least, unprofessional. And if you think about it, it could lead to harm.

As a manager showing that you have favourites can also be disastrous. I don’t mean that excellence, high performance and value to the organization should not be recognised.  But an organization cannot succeed in meeting its goals without the full cooperation and collaboration of all its members. If people believe they do not all have the same chance of gaining a reward, they switch off and become de-motivated.  They need to know that everyone plays by the same rules and is judged in the same way.

Having favourites at work is risky

There may be particular risks when a manger is newly promoted from within a work group.  Friendships can be maintained but they need to be kept for outside the workplace. It is a good idea to discuss this with the friend. Then agree from the outset how you will both make it clear no special benefits come from the friendship. The same thing goes for people that you did not get on with particularly well. It may be worth having a conversation to clear the air. Make sure that people understand you will be making a fresh start.

Remember having favourites can easily slip into discrimination. Recognise that from the start and resolve to be a manager who does not have favourites!

Working with a career coach really can help you succeed as a manager. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

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

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

         

Staying Fit To Manage

Staying Fit To Manage

Staying Fit To Manage – what does that really mean?

Well, managing people is never something to be taken lightly.  Being responsible for other people requires something beyond basic competence, you need to be motivated, alert and committed to the goals  of your group.  Motivation and alertness require energy and in order to stay energetic you need to be fit in both mind and body. That means staying fit to manage

Too many managers feel too tired and stressed out to stay fit. But that is something of a vicious circle because  feeling too tired to eat properly or to take exercise in turn leads to having even less energy.  On top of that lack of sleep, as a result of stress, means we are  on a downward spiral.  As responsible people and responsible managers we need to have the confidence to a halt.

Some simple changes can make a huge difference to  staying fit to manage. They can affect how we feel and our ability to do the things required of us.

You will find lots of advice and tips on diet including a Heathy Eating Assessment test at this link http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/eight-tips-healthy-eating.aspx

As for advice on physical activity and exercise – you will find advice at this link http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-adults.aspx

If you are not sure what’s causing your fatigue?  There are some common energy zappers that may be to blame – and here are some tips on how to overcome them. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/causes-of-tiredness.aspx

My own simple tips (and I’m still working on getting fit) – never leave home without breakfast and never spend more than four hours in an office environment without taking a short walk in the fresh air. Now I’m off to practice what I preach.

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

         

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HR Information Systems

HR Information Systems

Why HR has become a prime target for information technology

HR Information Systems – the basic tasks of human resources departments are similar in most organizations and so prime territory for the introduction on new HR Information Systems. Staff have to be recruited, evaluated and paid. Their welfare needs must be met and records need to be kept of both their performance and their development, as well as, for example, their sick absence. Track must be kept of personal histories, skills, capabilities, accomplishments and salary. All of this data needs to be analysed and turned into meaningful information if the organization is going to plan effectively for its workforce needs in the future.

These tasks require some pretty intensive administrative work – records need to be maintained and regularly updated and they have to be accurate. This has made HR a prime target for information technology and the development of human resource management systems

A Human Capital Management Solution, Human Resources Management System (HRMS) or Human Resources Information System (HRIS), integrates HR systems with information technology. What started out as relatively simple payroll systems have developed into sophisticated data management systems capable of vastly reducing the time and expense of HR administration. They have improved the quality of the HR contribution for employers, and for their employees, as well as freeing HR professionals to concentrate on the strategic interests of the organization.

The development of enablers like employee self-service tools from CIPHR  allow employees to query HR related data and perform some HR transactions over the system for themselves. This gives them a sense of ownership of the system and improves the quality and accuracy of data. Its appeal to workers can also help reduce the risk of losing corporate knowledge.

In the current global work environment, organisations need to have reliable and up-to-date information about the performance of their employees. They wish to reduce employee turnover and so retain scarce talent and the valuable knowledge held by their workforce. Recruiting new staff has a high cost and most new comers require at least a running in period before they become as effective as the person they replace. An effective HR information system supports the effective management and deployment of the workforce.

Working with a coach really can help you be a better manager. Get in touch at the email address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

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

         

Job Search: References and Recommendations on Social Media Sites

Social Media and Job Search

Social Media and Job Search -References and Recommendations on Social Media Sites

Social Media and Job Search – I’ve just found an interesting post from Susan Heathfield on About.com discussing the status of social media references. Susan Heathfield is a leading and highly respected Human Resources expert.

As she says, on-line social media sites like LinkedIn can present job reference challenges for employers. Employee job references, provided by an employee on a social media site, are not an official company reference for purposes of background checking and employment.

That leaves an employer to decide whether to take social media job references into account when considering a candidate. IN Susan’s view, sometimes they should but, as with anything to do with the on-line world of social media, the devil is in the details.

You can read her very good post at this link http://humanresources.about.com/od/selectemployees/qt/job-references.htm

Other 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.

Stand Out At Interview
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. 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 career resilience. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

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. 

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 

Management – Challenging conversations and how to manage them

Challenging conversations and how to manage them

Today’s post comes from the ACAS website.  Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) aims to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. You can download their brochure at this link pdf  Challenging conversations and how to manage them [302kb] You might find this book useful too Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Challenging conversations and how to manage them
Download the Challenging conversations and how to manage them in pdf form [302kb]
“Excuse me! There’s a problem.”

“What’s happened?”

“Where do you want to start?” Take your pick:

  • Simon’s been posting derogatory comments about you on a social networking site
  • Mary failed to get the expected promotion and is very upset
  • Phil is waiting to complain about a colleague making sexist comments in the canteen

Hopefully not a typical Monday morning, but we can all be ambushed by difficult line management issues.

The first question many managers ask themselves is ‘is it my responsibility to sort it out?’

If the answer is ‘yes’ there can still be a real reluctance to get caught up in very emotional or difficult performance and conduct issues.

Get it wrong and the employee may go absent, work less effectively or you may get landed with a grievance.

Get it right and you can improve levels of performance, attendance and employee engagement.

The new Acas guide pdf  Challenging conversations and how to manage them [302kb] and training package will help you to stay in control of whatever situation comes your way.

If you have an urgent issue to deal with and need to get some quick practical advice, the pdf  Challenging conversations – step by step table [45kb] is available.

Watch this video to see how conversations can sometimes go wrong

word  Having difficult conversations transcript [83kb]

Questions and Answers

What is a difficult conversation?

A difficult or challenging conversation is a conversation where you have to manage emotions and information in a sensitive way in order to:

  • Address poor performance or conduct
  • Deal with personal problems
  • Investigate complaints/deal with grievances
  • Comfort or reassure someone – for example, if they are to be made redundant
  • Tackle personality clashes

The conversation usually takes place one-to-one and can really test a line manager’s skills.

Why should I act now?

If you do not act now then you could:

  • mislead the employee by giving the impression that there is no problem
  • deny the employee the chance to improve or put things right
  • damage the productivity and efficiency of your business
  • lower the morale amongst team members

How can I make the conversations more bearable?

You can help make conversations with your employees less difficult by:

  • having a quiet word at the first sign that something is wrong
  • keeping in touch with your staff and the team
  • using employee representatives as sounding boards for how staff are feeling about issues

It is far better to nip problems in the bud, wherever possible, rather than waiting for them to become more entrenched or complicated.

What skills do I need to handle a challenging conversation?

Many of the skills needed to manage difficult conversations and behaviour are often referred to, in a rather derogatory tone, as ‘soft’. But there’s nothing soft about dealing with an emotional or confrontational employee who may appear to be trying to unsettle or undermine you.

In order to manage a difficult conversation you need to think carefully about:

  • the way you communicate
  • your ability to take control of a meeting and
  • your levels of self-belief.

Training can help to give you the confidence you need.

Handling Difficult Conversations – Acas training

This training will show you how to prepare for difficult or crucial conversations, how to manage and control the workplace discussion process and how to ensure you are talking to employees in as productive a way as possible. Acas will improve your confidence and enhance your knowledge and skills for reducing stress, taking action and tackling difficult conversations head on.

View Handling Difficult Conversations course details, dates and locations orenquire online.

Other related Acas training

Discipline and grievance

Conducting investigations

Performance management

Skills for supervisors

Managing People – The Dangers of Having Favorites!

Managing People – The Dangers of Having Favorites!

Many, many years moons ago, I worked with children.  They were boys between the ages of seven and eleven and, for me, at the most interesting stage in their development.  I saw them gaining in awareness and personality with views of their own pretty much everything.  It was tempting to spend time with a particular child that you liked, at the expense of a child that really needed your attention. Sometime later I found the same thing could happen in nursing – that patient who was so appealing might be lavished with greater care. Favoring a particular patient or a particular child would have been, at the very least, unprofessional and if you think about it could lead to harm.

As a manager showing that you have favorites can also have quite disastrous consequences. Now, I don’t mean that excellence, high performance and value to the organization should not be recognized and rewarded.  But as valuable as one person might be, an organization cannot succeed in meeting its goals without the full cooperation and collaboration of all its members. Taken to extremes a manager who falls in to the favorites’ trap can be accused not of favoritism, but of discrimination between employees with potential legal consequences.  If people believe they do not all have the same chance of gaining a reward, they switch off and become de-motivated.  They need to know that everyone plays by the same rules and is judged in the same way.

There may be particular risks when a manger is newly promoted from within a work group.  Friendships can be maintained but they need to be kept for outside the workplace.  It is a good idea to discuss this with the friend and agree from the outset that you will both make it clear that, in fairness to others, no special benefits come from the friendship. The same thing goes for people that you did not get on with particularly well. It may be worth having a conversation to clear the air and to make sure that people understand you will be making a fresh start.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Stress and the HR Professional
  • Managing People – Dealing With Difficult Employees
  • Make a Change: Champions of Change: Entrepreneurship Mentors

Managing difficult people

Managing difficult people

Managing People – Dealing With Difficult Employees

Managing difficult people – Most people you manage will be good and willing employees.  They are anxious to learn, to do their best and to get on well with their colleagues. But every manager finds themselves dealing with someone who is little difficult, at some point in their career.  For one reason or another, and it is good to find out why, this particular person is a problem.

There are ways to handle problem employees that reduce stress and minimize their taxing effect.  If you follow this plan, you should be able to deal with them quickly and contain the collateral damage they tend to create.

What you need to do is flip!

  • Flip the focus!
  • Flip the strategy.

Stop trying to change people and start trying to create an opportunity for them to change themselves, if they decide it is in their best interests to do so. This way business continues as usual while the problem employee makes a choice as to whether he or she wants to jump on board – or jump off.

This approach is clean and easy without lots of hassle. You don’t waste the time you need to invest in the rest of the business to produce a positive return.  The new approach can help you generate a healthy, low-maintenance, low-drama environment, which is better for everyone.

Here is the five step plan;

Step 1 Paint a picture that illustrates exactly what you expect and make sure the person understands that picture.

Step 2 Set-out clearly what is acceptable and what is not.  Use terms that are specific about the kinds of behavior that will not be tolerated.

Step 3 Explain what will happen when, and if, there is a recurrence of the bad behavior (talk to your HR department if you are unclear about the formal disciplinary procedure in your work place).

Step 4 Step back and give the individual a real opportunity to behave differently.

Step 5 Follow-up and follow through.  If the person responds well, then reward with praise.  If not, then follow-up exactly as you described in Step 3. If you don’t, you send a mixed message and the situation may become worse than before.

Always give the person an opportunity to explain why they have behaved badly – listen carefully to what they say. If there are extenuating circumstances, take them into account. Be firm but be fair and treat all your employees, including this one, with respect.

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

         

Managing People – Dealing With Difficult Employees

Managing People – Dealing With Difficult Employees

Most people you manage will be good and willing employees.  They are anxious to learn, to do their best and to get on well with their colleagues. But every manager finds themselves dealing with someone who is little difficult, at some point in their career.  For one reason or another, and it is good to find out why, this particular person is a problem.

There are ways to handle problem employees that reduce stress and minimize their taxing effect.  If you follow this plan, you should be able to deal with them quickly and contain the collateral damage they tend to create.

What you need to do is flip!

  • Flip the focus!
  • Flip the strategy.

Stop trying to change people and start trying to create an opportunity for them to change themselves, if they decide it is in their best interests to do so. This way business continues as usual while the problem employee makes a choice as to whether he or she wants to jump on board – or jump off.

This approach is clean and easy without lots of hassle. You don’t waste the time you need to invest in the rest of the business to produce a positive return.  The new approach can help you generate a healthy, low-maintenance, low-drama environment, which is better for everyone.

Here is the five step plan;

Step 1 Paint a picture that illustrates exactly what you expect and make sure the person understands that picture.

Step 2 Set-out clearly what is acceptable and what is not.  Use terms that are specific about the kinds of behavior that will not be tolerated.

Step 3 Explain what will happen when, and if, there is a recurrence of the bad behavior (talk to your HR department if you are unclear about the formal disciplinary procedure in your work place).

Step 4 Step back and give the individual a real opportunity to behave differently.

Step 5 Follow-up and follow through.  If the person responds well, then reward with praise.  If not, then follow-up exactly as you described in Step 3. If you don’t, you send a mixed message and the situation may become worse than before.

Always give the person an opportunity to explain why they have behaved badly – listen carefully to what they say. If there are extenuating circumstances, take them into account. Be firm but be fair and treat all your employees, including this one, with respect.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com