September 2012

The Two Career Search Essentials

By | September 17th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Often in the enthusiasm of getting to the job market, job seekers forget to consider the top two essentials needed to be successful. There is a flurry of activity to dust off the CV, track down relevant recruiters and look up old contacts, which are all necessary, but the order of priority may be a bit skewed. The two things you need to know intimately BEFORE going to market are: […]

May 2012

How Competency Based Interviews Need to Evolve

By | May 25th, 2012|competency based interview|

I recently went onto an online book store and looked up ‘interview questions and answers’. To my amazement over 50 titles popped up, each one guiding the reader through the art of answering competency based interview (CBI) questions. I looked at the search term ‘interview questions’ on Google and was informed that these key words are searched  5 million times per month globally, leading the user to multiple CBI answer sites. On top of this I am aware that last year up to 300,000 people received outplacement support, with the vast majority being trained or coached on interview technique. Are companies therefore hiring the best candidate or the best prepared? […]

April 2012

A Better Career by Thinking Backwards

By | April 19th, 2012|better career|

I was working with a personal client who was considering leaving his blue chip organisation to find something new, driven by the fact that internally there just weren’t enough challenges to keep his career moving forward. As a consequence his motivation and confidence were beginning to wane. We discussed his strengths, skills and aspirations and it became clear that as he was really suited to his sector he might be a little foolish to let go what he had, but instead he should build upon it. But how? […]

February 2012

Career Planning to Career Exploring

By | February 14th, 2012|career planning|

 “My career seems to have drifted for the last few years.” A phrase I hear only too often. Of course I understand that roles and companies evolve and change, and individuals can be somewhat ‘in limbo’; but even in these uncertain times it is those people who are continually career conscious that reap the rewards. I actually think that the concept of career planning is a little dated. ‘Planning’ infers a set-in-stone plan that one follows through thick and thin. In the days of previous generations and jobs for life this was probably a great thing to do, but today we need to think a little more creatively. […]

January 2012

CV Writing. Personal Profiles

By | January 16th, 2012|CV writing|

CV writing is obviously a large part of what we do here at The Career Gym. My knowledge and advice is based on having read and interviewed from literally thousands of CV’s through my 15+ years as a recruiter and Career Coach. I’m confident that I know what gets noticed and I know what doesn’t! For many candidates CV writing is a chore and they simply add to previous templates that served them well in the past. Things have certainly moved on and people need to approach their CV’s in a fresh way. One area in particular is the traditional first section ‘Personal Profile’. […]

October 2011

What is HR?

By | October 27th, 2011|What is HR|

What is HR? What is HR? This is a question that I have been asked so many times by those curious about the profession. Even those with some experience of the function are sometimes unaware of what it really offers. Let me offer my view of the function, having been immersed in HR for many years and have witnessed many different companies’ departments and working practices. […]

The Best Career Advice You Could Ever Get

By | October 26th, 2011|Uncategorized|

 Career Advice There’s no doubting it, I’m a realist. I hear stories from many clients and recruitment contacts about their experiences in the current job market and I know it’s tough. But I am a realist with an optimistic streak. I don’t have my head in the clouds, but I do strongly believe that if we really want something we can work hard to achieve it – no matter the economic climate. Developing a better career or working towards gaining a new role certainly fits into that category. But unfortunately many people don’t focus on the right things to make a difference. Through my years of commercial roles, headhunting and career coaching I have realised that those who successfully achieve their goals get the basics right. The fads come and go – the essentials remain, slowly evolving. So the best career advice is……… […]

August 2011

Can I influence you?

By | August 19th, 2011|Uncategorized|

There are many factors that allow HR and other professionals to achieve success, but I have noticed more and more that there is a common element that makes the stars stand out internally and/or externally. It is the art of influencing. To better yourself internally you are likely to have to enhance your impact and earn even greater respect. In the external market many headhunters will be requiring you to prove how influential you have been, so I thought it may be helpful to highlight a few ways in which I have seen this done. […]

March 2011

The Power of Mentoring

By | March 24th, 2011|Uncategorized|

In collaboration with two of my partners we have recently conducted a survey looking at HR’s view of mentoring. The survey results certainly didn’t disappoint! The highlight was that for those individuals wanting to further their commercial knowledge (and let’s face it, this is a priority in most HR Functions), their preferred choice for gaining this development was to have a mentor. The respondents acknowledged the power of these relationships, the learning opportunity and the potential direct outputs. Why then did only 32% actually have a mentor? […]

January 2011

New Year Resolution or a Career Strategy?

By | January 18th, 2011|Uncategorized|

I met loads of people over the Christmas period. Inevitably when they found out I was a career coach many said that one of their New Year resolutions was to move their career forward in some way. I actually like New Year resolutions (the concept of out with the old and in with the new is refreshing) but when it comes to careers I have a firm belief that one has to maintain an on-going momentum to reach the pinnacle of your career. Once the momentum is lost, meaning a resolution is necessary, you have already potentially missed some opportunities. Sure, career development is not a ‘straight line’ activity; many external factors can knock you off your chosen path, but keeping sight of your goals, by means of working to a career strategy, can mean that your ambitions are always in focus. How many people can honestly say that they have a career strategy? Just like any other business venture, a career path needs thought and planning and by setting a strategic journey you are far more likely to keep on track. […]

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