Applying for your own job

Applying for your own job

When you have to reapply for own job

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – Wendy’s books on Amazon

Applying for your own job – I know from working with my coaching clients, that is now a common experience. But I don’t think that reduces the personal pain. There you are doing what you think is a good job and then someone announces a re-structuring. Perhaps there is a merger or your company is acquired by another. Sometimes your organization needs to downsize. For whatever reason, you find yourself at risk and you have to compete for what you believed was yours. It may well be considered the fairest way to handle a change. And it does give all current employees an opportunity to apply. But it still hurts and shakes your confidence if your job up for grabs.

Applying for your own job – tips

  • First share your anger, frustration or disbelief with a partner, a close friend or a with coach like me> Do this and not with your colleagues or your employer. Although organizations are required to be fair, employers are more likely to favour employees with a positive attitude.
  • Set your mind on making the best application you can for the job, emphasizing the value your bring to the organization. Don’t assume your employer knows this already. And they may well bring in HR consultants from outside the organization to run the selection process. Collect together evidence of the value you deliver, for example, performance statistics or new business delivered or letter from satisfied customers.
  • Now is the time for you to show evidence of your competence in your application letter, CV and at interview. You will find lots of advice in other posts on this blog about how to do that. Show how you will fit the role and take particular care to tailor what you say to suit any new requirements.
  • Don’t presume you’ll get the job; there may be a limited number of opportunities. But do remind yourself regularly just how good you are. Be practical and realistic about the situation – now is the time to start doing those little extras like working late or volunteering for that new project. It is the time for your to reinforce the relationship you have with managers and not to show them your resentment.
  • It can be hard to deal with. And anger and resentment may not be something you get over quickly. If it is badly handled, I know from experience that it can taint your whole view of the organization. That may mean that it is impossible to see staying as a positive option. If you do decide to look for new work, it is better to leave on good terms. Try to understand what led the organization to this point and that there may have been no other options open.

Above all work on not seeing the situation as being about you personally. Do this even though the impact is very personal indeed. You may well benefit from talking things through with a counsellor or a career coach. Remember, I offer a free half hour’s coaching by phone or Skype. My contact details are below.

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.

Stress-free Job Search
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

Remember working with a career coach can really help both  job search and 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 

Fed-up with Job Search

Fed-up with Job Search

“I am unemployed and bored. I’m tired of applying for jobs and not getting any replies!”

Fed-up with Job Search – I heard from someone recently who is getting very tired Fed-up with Job Searchof the whole process of applying for work. He wants to work. But he is really fed up of making applications that don’t get replies. He is bored staying at home every day.

His routine is now to stay up late watching television and get up at noon the next day. Then he just hangs around the house.

It is all too easy for this to happen when you don’t have a regular routine. On top of that, constant rejection, or worse the feeling that you are invisible, adds to feeling down. Eventually it can lead to depression.

The slippery slope

My friend may need quite an intervention to get him moving again.

What about you?  Do you feel yourself slipping down into the well of despair? You need to act!

First, you need to establish a new and healthier routine.

Go to bed and get up at the same times as you did when you had a job. This doesn’t apply to those who had a long commute, obviously. If you can, stick with your previous sleeping pattern. Not sleeping? Talk to your pharmacist about trying a gentle herbal remedy to help with sleep.  If that doesn’t work talk to your medical adviser.

Fed-up with job search – now is time for a new routine

Make a new routine for yourself during the day and set some new goals.

How about going to the gym or taking a long walk first thing in the morning? During the day take pride in eating well but healthily.

Allocate a certain period each day for work at home on your job search but please don’t spend all day, every day on it! Make time for a hobby that has nothing to do with your job search. Make it something you really enjoy.

Now is the time to review and refresh your job search material, CV etc.  Could this be the time to widen your job search field?  Think about things you have enjoyed over the years. What have you not yet considered as a work opportunity?

If you have got to interview stage in any of your applications, what feedback were you given?  If you didn’t ask for feedback, there may still time to make a phone call to the recruiting manager.

Meeting people

Don’t forget to meet up with friends or contacts outside the house. Make a point of getting out and meeting people at least once a week. These meetings won’t be to ask for work but you can let them know that you are looking. Mainly this will be an opportunity to keep up with people and find out what is going on around you.

If you belong to a professional association, now is the time to go to meetings! It is important to keep up with what is going on in your field.  Make some time during your days at home to follow up developments on the internet. It is much cheaper than buying magazines.

Think as well about investing in a training course; either to refresh your present skills or to gain new ones. It could make you more valuable and give you some new contacts.

Think about taking on a voluntary role.  It is very good for self esteem and it helps to be able to show potential employers that you are using your time productively.

Fed-up with job search – now is not the time to brood or become that couch potato. Get up, review, revise, refresh and get out there!  Set yourself some new goals and move forward, there are still opportunities around – it is time to look for them in some new places.

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

         

Job loss – how to stay confident

Confidence after a job loss

Job loss leaves most people feeling less confident. It’s not just about losing the job lossincome but also about your image and sense of yourself. For many of us, the value we put on ourselves is closely tied in to our work. Let’s face it, for lots of us, work is where we spend most of our waking life. It’s often where we find our friends (and even partners) and where we may make out major achievements. So when we lose a job, we feel we’ve lost part of ourselves and we grieve for it.

But you are much more than your job. People who really matter value you for much more than your work role. So, how can you begin to appreciate yourself again after job loss? How can you send that confidence back up the scale? Here are some thoughts.

Understand why it happened

If you have been made redundant keep in mind that it’s not personal – you were just unlucky and you are part of a very large and growing club. You may have suffered job loss for other reasons. Make sure you understand why and learn from it. Have you been sacked (let go)? Think about whether you should change something about yourself to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In all cases, what matters most is going forward, not dwelling on negative things from the past. But ,if there are lessons then learn them

Time for some mind-work

After job loss, the temptation is to ruminate on what has happened. The same thoughts and questions keep going round and round in your mind with no real answers emerging. Sadly, this is happening at a time when you may not have much to keep you busy. So you need to build a new routine.

Make sure you have plans for each day. Making a work routine for your job search is important. I usually advise clients to spend as as much time as they did at work, on their job search.

As for that tape that keeps running round your head, well think of it as an old radio playing in the background. Don’t fight the thoughts, observe them. Try not to engage with them. If the thoughts persist, think about seeking help from a counsellor or coach. You may want to consider taking a mindfulness course, it will help with exactly this kind of thinking.

Feeling lonely

After job loss, you may miss the company and the contact with people that you had at work. Now is the time to work on your network. Get out that old address book, look up your email contacts and those on your mobile phone. Find people on social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. When you are not at work, social networks can become your water cooler – a way of keeping in touch with what is going on in the world. And you will be surprised how supportive your social media chums can be.

Pick up old contacts and find out what people are doing now. Show a real interest in them. It will give you company but also might give you a lead to the next job. Meet up – have a coffee with them. Tell them you are interested in new opportunities but don’t dwell too much on why you lost the last job.

Keep up appearances

This is a time when it is all too easy to slump around in jogging pants all day. Mind you the jogging, or at least some kind of exercise, is important – as is a good diet. Dress for work in the home office – albeit a little more casually than you did for work. It will help to raise your morale.

Worrying about money

Most of us will feel bad about the loss of income. But there is help – make it a project to find out all the sources of financial support available to you. For people in the UK, here is a link to Citizens Advice Benefits Information. Take time to understand where you might find help, then make sure you take advantage of it. Think carefully about how you and your family are spending money.  Changes may be needed after your job loss.

Living with less money may mean changes in lifestyle for all the family; not so many meals out and subscriptions to clubs etc. Make the changes carefully, particularly if they affect your children. Plan and prioritise just like you would at work but engage the family in the choices you make. If you have a mortgage, now may be the time to consider discussing a mortgage payment holiday.

Time to consider just how competent you are!

This is the time to focus on what you are good at and your passed achievements. Elsewhere on this blog there is advice on writing your STAR stories.  Preparing your STAR stories can be a real boost to your self-confidence after job loss. But they are also a great way to prepare to update your CV ready for your new job search.

Time for some enjoyment

When money is short, it is time to get creative about ideas for family and relaxation time. Even though  it is now about long country walks rather than theme parks, it can still be fun. There are lots of free events and festivals around if you look for them – use that involuntary spare time to find them.

Don’t waste time and energy on guilt

Feeling guilty about job loss doesn’t change what has happened. Spend time looking forward because you can change the future.  Don’t be hard on your self. You are one amongst thousands. In any case, you may not have a job but you do have a project and that is you.

Wendy Smith is a career, life 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 the life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact Wendy at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com or find out more hereWendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Annabel Kaye On The Evils Of Redundancy – The Chrissy B Show (97)

 

Annabel Kaye On The Evils Of Redundancy – The Chrissy B Show (97)

Annabel Kaye – Why are some redundancies conducted so badly leaving employees feeling low, cheated and sometimes even suicidal? How can things be done better? How can you survive redundancy and come out a winner? Expert advice on the show. You will find some great advice here from my friend and respected employment law expert, Annabel Kaye  of http://irenicon.co.uk/

This show airs live on SKY 203 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9.30pm from a cosy living room studio in the heart of London.

 

Redundancy and layoff – emotions and what to expect!

English: rain clouds Looking out to sea at the...
When you are made redundant you may have to work your way through some very challenging and negative emotions. These can be disturbing and worrying for you and for those about you.  It helps if you, and they, know what to expect.
Shock and denial

Actually being made redundant comes as a shock.  Sometimes people simply refuse to believe it! Then they may go through a period when they deny what has happened.  They may have a conviction that somebody got something wrong and very shortly they will get a call back.

You may find yourself believing that the employer will change their mind. The reality is that it is very rare indeed for this to happen.  Good employers will have thought long and hard before announcing a redundancy and bad employers are very unlikely to want to admit they got it wrong.

Anger

After a while, you may become very angry.  This may be with your former employer but it might also be with your former colleagues – those who were lucky enough to stay! Why were you chosen and not them? The picture you paint in your mind of yourself and what happened can be far from the truth! Becoming consumed with anger is self-defeating and can be dangerous. If you, or someone near to you, can’t get passed this kind of anger, you may need to seek some outside help from a coach or counsellor and you may need to speak to your doctor.

Depression

It is usual to feel down when you have lost your job.  But after a while, this can turn into the darker emotion of depression.  Depression is an illness.  It goes with low self-esteem, loss of confidence and lack of energy.  You feel deeply miserable! You may not feel it is even worthwhile applying for another job, because no one is ever again going to want you.  Or you may apply for a job in a half-hearted way and then when you don’t get it that reinforces what you are already feeling.  So you can spiral down!

When this starts to happen it is best to get help. Depression is a serious condition and you should seek medical help if you feel it is becoming too much to handle.

Guilt and shame

It isn’t unusual to feel guilty when you have been made redundant.  You can feel it is your fault and that you have let yourself and your family down.  But in the present climate this is usually not true. Like you, lots of people who were very good at their work, are now unemployed.

It is painful even though it is not your fault.  But, you may feel shame and find yourself avoiding places and people that remind you of what has happened.  Sometimes people cover feelings of shame by behaving aggressively.

When you feel shame and guilt, sometimes it helps to stand back and think

  • Do I really believe someone thinks less of me as a result of this and would that be fair?
  • Would I think less of someone who had gone through an identical experience to the one I’ve had?
  • What advice would I give them, if they felt shame and guilt?

Relief
This is possibly the oddest emotion to list here.  But the reality is that you may feel relief that the uncertainty about being made redundant is over. The months before a redundancy is announced are often unpleasant and anxious – everyone is very uncertain.  Going to work has usually been stressful and now, at least, you are out from under the cloud!

Loss of confidence

Most of the emotions described above can undermine confidence and self belief.  You can begin to doubt yourself and your abilities. This in turn gets in the way of making a fresh start and finding a new job.

If you, yourself, are made redundant

Try not to be too proud to ask for and accept help.  It really can help to talk to someone else about how you are feeling.  As well as that, the best thing is to get into some practical tasks.  Don’t take a break before you begin your job search and, for example, CV updating.  Start as soon as possible.  Work with a buddy or a group if you can – there are lots around – search for one on the internet or ask in your local library or at the job centre.

Don’t let yourself feel isolated – these days, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are great places to network and just to have a virtual chat.

If you are a relative or friend of someone made redundant or laid-off

It can be hard to know how to talk to someone who has been made redundant!  You don’t want to be too downbeat and add to the misery.  But if you are too upbeat, you can sound uncaring.  It is usually no good at all telling someone who has just been made redundant that this may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to them, even if it’s true.  But it is important to be there for them!  Expect, and allow space for, them to go through a range of emotions.  Counsel them to seek outside help if you are worried.

Meanwhile If you have a question or just want to let off steam, by all mean feel free to drop me a line here.  I will do my very best to help.

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. You can email her at wendymason@confidencecoach.me or ring ++44(0)2084610114 

Some other great posts for you to read

Job Search and Motivation – when the motivation vampire strikes!
6 Tips for Confident Networking
Unemployed – Interview Techniques – Behavioural or Competency Based Interviewing 
 
 
 
 
 

I am unemployed and bored. I’m tired of applying for jobs and not getting any replies!

This is a photo symbolizing the job search in ...
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I heard from someone recently who is getting very tired of the whole process of applying for work.  He still wants to work, but he is just fed up of making applications that don’t get replies.  He is bored staying at home every day.

His routine is now to stay up late watching television and then get up at noon, the next day, just to hang around the house.

It is all too easy for this to happen when you don’t have the stimulus of a regular job. On top of that, constant rejection, or worse the feeling that you are invisible, can lead to depression.

My friend may need quite an intervention to get him moving again.

What about you?  If you feel yourself slipping into a similar state, you need to act and quickly

First, you need to be quite firm in establishing a new and healthy routine.

Go to bed and get up at the same times you did when you had a job.  This doesn’t apply to those who had a long commute obviously, so use some discretion, but generally stick with your previous sleeping pattern, if you can. If you are not sleeping talk to your pharmacist about trying some of the gentle herbal remedies that are around to help with sleep.  If that doesn’t work then you should talk to your doctor

Make a new routine for yourself during the day and set yourself some new goals.

How about going to the gym or taking a long walk in the morning before you even tackle anything to do with your job search.

Then allocate a certain period each day for work at home on your job search but please do not spend all day on it! Spend some of each day on a hobby that has nothing to do with your job search.

Now is the time to review and refresh your job search material, CV etc.  Could you ask a friend to review it for you?  If you have access to a coach, then work on it with your coach.

This might be the time to widen your job search field. Could you do some work with a coach to identify new opportunities?  Think about things you have enjoyed over the years, what have you not yet considered as a work opportunity?

In any case review your progress so far!  If you have got to interview stage in any of your applications, what feedback were you give?  If you didn’t ask for feedback, is there still time to make a phone call and talk to the recruiting manager?

Having set a time for your search at home, now think about opportunities to meet up with friends or contacts outside the house.  Make a point of getting out and meeting people at least once or twice a week.  These meetings won’t be to ask for work, but to keep up with people and find out what is going on around you.

If you belong to a professional association, now is the time to go to meetings! It is important to keep up with what is going on in your field.   Make some time during your days at home to keep up with developments on the internet – it is usually much cheaper than buying magazines.

Think as well about investing in a training course; either to refresh your present skills or to gain new ones. It could make you more valuable and give you some new contacts.

Think about taking on a voluntary role.  It is very good for self esteem and it helps to be able to show potential employers that you are using your time productively.

Now is not the time to brood or become that couch potato. Get up, review, revise, refresh and get out there!  Set yourself some new goals and move forward, there are still opportunities around – it is time to look for them in some new places.

I am Wendy Mason. I work as a Personal Development Coach,

 Consultant and Writer.I have worked with many different kinds of people going through all kinds of personal and career change, particularly those

  • looking for promotion or newly promoted,
  • moving between Public and Private Sectors
  • moving into retirement.

I am very good at helping you sort out what you want, overcome obstacles and handle change. I offer face to face, telephone and on-line coaching by email or Skype

Email me at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439 to find out more. 

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)

Redundancy and the Family – it is change for them too!

In my last post, I described how difficult things at home are now for Dave.

Changes in life like redundancy affect us all deeply. They change us and they change our relationships. Redundancy is like bereavement and can leave you with the same gut-wrenching sense of loss, the furious “why me?”. Everyone says it’s not personal, but of course it feels that way to the one who has lost their job.

But that sense of loss isn’t just felt by us, it is felt by those close to us as well. Their lives have been changed and probably in ways they would never have chosen for themselves.

Sometimes in mass redundancies you can turn that anger outwards and on to the employer or the perceived cause of the problems for example the Bankers. Then the group binds together against the world.

If a whole community is facing difficulty, there is likely to be lots of support from within that community – think of the pit villages in the North East of England between the thirties and the seventies. Under siege you pull together. But most of us live in communities without that kind of tradition.

Dave’s wife has made a life for herself at home. Now change is being forced on her and, of course, she will resist it and be shocked by it. Dave probably felt the same when he realised he wasn’t needed any more at work. Now his wife is frightened!

Anyone who has spent a long period at home feels quite daunted by the prospect of going out to work again. And she is worried that life probably never will be the same again!

So she is in pain too and she has to deal with a whole mix of conflicting and confusing feelings. This may include feelings of resentment towards Dave. It feels as if he has brought this down on them even though he has not chosen to do so! So she feels guilty too!

In these circumstances most counsellors and coaches will tell you to share your concerns with each other. But this can be very hard to do.

Sitting down opposite each other over the kitchen table can end up being very confrontational. Sometimes, it is better to start talking when you are both facing the same way and maybe doing something else. How about going for a walk together or just for a drive. What about when you are sitting together on the sofa watching TV, but not when anyone’s favourite programme is on!

It helps if you can both admit you feel rotten and miserable about what has happened – Dave has lost a job and both are in danger of losing a life style.

Share the misery – you are in it together.

Try talking about it and really seeing it from each other’s perspective. Don’t pretend it isn’t grim for you both. Share it and then start to work together to manage it. Neither of you is responsible for this and neither should feel guilty.

Sometimes when the feelings just overwhelm you, it helps to write get it all down in a letter. When you have finished, put what you have written to one side. Decide later, when you feel calm, whether to send or destroy it.

If the anger and the depression continue, talk to your doctor or find a counsellor because these are signs you need some outside help.

Above all acknowledge the change for both of you and that both of you are suffering loss. It is not about whose loss is greater. If you can, start to work for and not against each other! You can be a team again, I’m sure!

I would welcome your thoughts on all this and I am very happy to answer questions.

  • 31st May 2011 What’s up with Dave? (leavingthepublicsector.net) 
Wendy Mason 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 awendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439

Leading Change – Announcing your change!

Transactional Model of Communication

For a significant organizational change, you should develop a communications plan.

It should cover;

  • What you wish to accomplish in communicating the change,
  • Your audience – how they are feeling, what they are expecting and how are they likely to react through the process,
  • Your key messages, strategy and tactics,
  • When you are going to communicate – your activity schedule,
  • How you will measure the results – how will you know that your message is getting across!

You can find guidance on preparing your plan at this link.

Prepare well for the announcement.  Be aware of your own feelings about the change. If you feel anxious take a little time out beforehand to relax – there is a simple breathing technique to help you at this link.

When you can, help your staff prepare for bad news.  But combine all of this with being scrupulously fair.  They will know if you play the favourites game or take the opportunity to pay off old scores when you are laying people off or reducing hours.  You will lose good will and that special contribution you need from those who stay.

In making your announcement, be as honest as you can and above all be fair.

Tell them the real position if you can, but also tell them what you are doing about it.  Tell them why the change is happening and what has led up to this point. Be as honest as you can about the risks but don’t threaten your organization with your honesty – it’s a fine judgment call.  Be careful of your language, don’t mislead them but limit your use of negative and emotive words.

You may not have all the answers at the beginning of the change.  Be honest about the gaps but be very clear about how you will go about filling them

Make sure they understand that you will keep them informed.

If they have a role, explain that role to them.  Involve them as much as you can in the change. How can they contribute?

Show confidence in their ability to get out of their comfort zone and do what has not been done before!  Challenge them to achieve something remarkable but don’t be unrealistic!

Make sure they leave the room knowing how they can ask questions after the event.

If you have a management team forearm them with as much briefing material as you can and make sure there is access to you for further information

Above all show how you are going to lead and support them through this change.  You are all in it together!

I would welcome your thoughts and hearing about your experiences.  I am very happy to answer your questions and advise you if I can.

  • Leading Change – bad advice and frightening people! (wisewolftalking.com)
  • Leading Change – knowing what a sense of urgency really means!(wisewolftalking.com)
  • LeaderBrief Q&A: Core Leadership Skills (linked2leadership.com)


Wendy Mason 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 awendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)786768143

Writing your CV! Part 3 Pondering on CVs; language,confidentiality, competencies and referees!

This post is concerned with the particular issues faced by those moving between public and private sectors when completing their CV.

I’m going to comment on language, confidentiality, competencies and references.

Language

A recent post here set out the reasons why public sector jargon needs to be avoided in CVs and job interviews.  Keep your language clear and simple.  When in doubt ask a non-public sector friend to read it and give you honest advice on clarity.

Confidentiality

Some public sector staff work in areas where the issues of confidentiality are real and significant.  But in all honesty most do not!  If you do, there will be clear guidance available.  You should consult your HR department about what you can say and how best to overcome the barriers to you getting a new role.

Most public sector staff do not work under the same restrictions.  The reality is that you can record on your CV the kind of work you have been doing.  Of course you should avoid information; under a security classification, relating to an individual member of the public or a fellow staff member, likely to embarrass the organisation or  Government Minister for which you have worked.

Most people will be able to describe their work in sufficient detail for a CV.  But see the comments made in the next section about how you do it.

Competencies

In my last post I included a list of skills and personal qualities (competencies) that employers are likely to look for. The list was by no means an exhaustive.

When you complete your employment history, try to show how your approach and your achievements demonstrate the competencies you quote.

For example, putting together a team and then driving through an initiative to improve the service to customers while reducing costs illustrates a number of competencies.  It can be understood quite easily by those outside the public sector.

Experience of project and programme management again can be understood outside the public sector and can be used to illustrate planning, organizing and delivering benefits when applying for roles in small to medium-sized organizations that do not have large projects for you to manage.

Those who have worked very close to Ministers managing legislation have had to use planning and organizing skills.  They are also likely to have demonstrated tact and discretion. If you have worked in difficult and sensitive areas  including policy discussions with Ministers (where influencing skills, relationship management, tact and discretion were needed, as well as the ability to be flexible and adaptable) this should be included but with discretion.

Think in terms of the competencies as you write descriptions of the work you have done.  Think in terms of organisations, tasks, problems solved and people influenced.  Describe the tasks you have completed in terms that others will understand and focus on what you delivered and how you delivered.

References

Some government departments will only offer bland references as your employer.  You will need their reference.   But it may only be a confirmation that you worked for them in a particular grade over a particular period of time.

Most large private sector employers know this – for others you may have to explain.  But you will need something more.  Try asking your line manager or someone in your management line if they would be prepared to give you a personal reference.   Also consider approaching retired senior colleagues and others who have left organisation.

It helps as well if you can provide a personal referee who holds a senior position in the private sector.  This is where people you have met during work in a voluntary capacity may be useful. Otherwise, consider people who you have met through clubs and associations.

You shouldn’t feel embarrassed about asking for a reference, most people feel flattered to be asked But you should always give people the opportunity to say no and make quite clear that you will understand if they feel they simply don’t know you well enough to help.

I would welcome your thoughts on all this and I am very happy to answer questions.

  • Writing your CV! Part 1 The Basics (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Writing your CV! Part 2 Making Choices (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Watch your language – it’s a different world out there! (leavingthepublicsector.net)
Wendy Mason 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 awendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439