Category Archives: CAREER

Strategic Career Development and Management

Don’t be afraid, it’s only an interview.

Being a Career Consultant, one of my competencies – one of the key issues for many job seekers/clients is getting past the interview.

Now, for one reason or another, this vital aspect along the career attainment ladder often gets overlooked in place of the all important CV or Resumé, if you are across the pond.

So many of my clients’ attention is focused on the details within their career file, which is not the living breathing creature that will be interviewed, it is only being evaluated – and of course that file is subjective, so what really and truly matters, is you?

Interviews, if you are not a seasoned pro or just getting your first big toe on career street, can be intimidating. Nerves can and will get the better of you, if you choose to be interviewed. Note the word choose.

I have a lot of information and techniques on how to handle an interview, the key thing to do, is turn the interview into a meeting. If you turn it into a meeting, the perception gained from the interviewers, is that you are already employed or assigned to the role and company. Also, transitioning the interview to a meeting takes the nerves out of the situation. Open dialogue will be cultivated and an exchange of insightful views shared.

The old mantra that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, works here. So all the good and bad things that those first 30 seconds when you meet someone holds true; I suspect you know what I am talking about here. Looking well attired, researched the company, their competitors, their service or products and target market(s) prior to your meeting, yes I thought you knew this.

I am not going to reveal all my knowledge here, but if you are seeking that coveted role, have sent your career file(s), and are now being invited to (interview) a meeting, please if you need help, just click this link and contact me there, and I will listen to your requirements and backstory.

5ad1f026fe306c7e05a8d8f2f171f0a5That last line, with my help can be predictable.



3 steps to better people skills

Getting through life as we all know is tough at the best of times, but one way to smooth the way forward, is bullet proof effective people skills. Whether in a professional environment or a domestic one, getting along with people from all walks of life is vital for a contented and successful life.

We must accept that none of us are born with natural people skills, we are taught and some of us are taught better than others. Ownership of a toy between two toddlers could spiral out of control, it’s incumbent on someone with a little more knowledge to demonstrate give and take and the rules regarding reciprocation.

1st.   There’s nothing more attractive than good manners. Traditional habits are dwindling. Saying ‘thank you, ‘good morning/afternoon/evening/night’, ‘let me do that for you’ ‘how are you?’ etc,. Also allowing someone to speak without interruption I consider to be good manners – being able to listen for many is very attractive, particularly when someone has something important to say. Looking directly into someone eyes when being spoken to is both critical in business and in intimate relationships.

Physical things like opening doors, giving way, forming an orderly queue, taking your head wear off in a place of worship, dressing appropriately for the environment that one is sharing, giving up a seat for someone who clearly needs it, using appropriate language, helping someone in need… and behavioural things like being humble and showing gratitude.

None of this is new to any of us right, however with much of the focus today is using digital devices and communicating virtually, plus my own observation that we’re increasingly becoming self-centred, money orientated and more guarded, the positive social attributes mentioned above much of the time do not reach our daily consciousness. 

2nd.   Laughter!! Humour always wins the day. Sadness isn’t a pleasant experience, but laughter is. A physiological diagnosis “Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.”

Laughter, even in a morose tension filled setting can and will remove stress and anxiety in an instant. Speaking directly to my male readers, we all know that one way to a woman’s heart or anyone’s heart is making them laugh. If you make a toddler laugh through some simple play, that child will keep repeating the act so that you can continue to make them laugh. We all know that eventually it will get tiresome. Laughter is not only addictive, it is contagious. You don’t need to know what the cause of the laughter is, but you in turn will at the very least smile.

A joke or lighthearted banter during a 1st time meeting can and will make you more likeable and smooth the way to that crucial deal or in getting hired. Not many people are attracted to someone who seems guarded or defensive.

In an intimate setting, when making love and something triggers a snigger, this will likely increase the loving bond on top of the necessary ecstasy.

3rd.   Mirror what you see (but don’t make it obvious). I made reference to appearing or being defensive in point 2. The opposite is being open and available. Being approachable is every sales or customer facing person’s necessary demeanour. How many times have you entered a store and no one even acknowledges you. Even if you have a body language of someone who looks unapproachable, or you fit a negative stereotype, that person who works there should at the very least attempt to disarm and welcome you.

Non verbal communication is just as important in business as it is in the home. No one likes to be made to feel that they could be walking on egg shells. Behaving unnaturally in a relationship is NOT GOOD, not replying, not hugging, not sitting together, not dining at the table, turning one’s back, not going to bed at the same time, no PDA… being manipulative, attempting to control another, wanting them to conform to a particular image or behaviour, all bad stuff.

If the person you are with has a passion, show interest. People like talking about themselves, believe me. Music and food are areas where you’re sure to find commonality. 

If someone who you are communicating with is sad, empathise, if they’re happy, acknowledge it, if they’re being serious or is concerned, listen intently and don’t interrupt. 

There’s clearly much more to people skills than I have highlighted here, there’s a glossary of information across the internet and in libraries, so swat up.

We can all do much better in applying effective people skills, it’s a learned tool that can optimise your career, your business, your love life, your social life, your family life and make your entire life so much more enjoyable.

Here’s an interesting link




Pic credit to the beehive Atlanta

Expectations going unfulfilled…

It’s becoming the norm to have proposals or invitations delivered, which for one reason or another, fail to materialise. We’ve all been there. Fake News and all that!

Whether the messenger was a) insincere, or b) circumstances prevailed to make the messenger think twice as to whether it was a mistake to make it in the first place, or c) it was said, meant and subsequently forgotten ‘duh’!.

Now setting an expectation is a powerful communication. The person in receipt of it, will be inclined to naturally believe it, and so prepare accordingly for it. In other words, their previously arranged life journey or mental plan at that very moment has been altered.

Working backwards, I will discount point c) because being forgetful can happen to all of us.

What about point b)? If the proposer feels that there’s something not quite right following the proposal delivery or invitation sent, it makes good sense to contact the person in receipt directly either to seek further reassurance or inform the recipient that a change of mind has been made.

In other words being both professional, and courteous. Should the proposer be reassured, clarity can be given and the expectation in the mind of the recipient reinforced. If the proposer remains unconvinced, then it makes sense just to say something along the lines of ‘I have had second thoughts, I am sorry to inform you that I can’t proceed with the proposal or invitation – Done and dusted, and the recipient will respect the honesty and perceived trust subsequently embedded, even when disappointed.

What about point a)? Setting an expectation here can be seen as manipulative and to be totally candid, will not be appreciated by the recipient – Dale Carnegie comes to mind here.

Both in a professional environment and a domestic one, making insincere proposals or invitations can cause real consternation if not outright civil strife. We’ve seen it topically in elections, marriages/personal relationships, online dating sites, business deals, and all of us have experienced it at some point from the service industry.

There are many courses and programs on Expectation Management models, all are loosely based on Mean What You Say and Say What You Mean, or Walk The Talk ideology.

Key rules are… Don’t say it if you don’t mean it. If you mean it, do it. If you start it, complete it.

These can be grouped under the umbrella word of COMMITMENT. A commitment to yourself, which is vitally important as it nurtures self-discipline, and to others as it invokes trust and admiration.

It’s also worth pointing out that insincere proposals and invitations can make people cynical about anything that comes their way. Where’s the small print mind-set? Or What’s the catch?

Yet we must all try to have faith in each other if society is to make positive progress, not easy in these chaotic and divisive times I grant you, but we’ve got to show respect to one another and ourselves first and foremost.