You can’t poke, tweet or email a handshake

Never a truer adage when looking for a job not what but who you know.  Your network is key to a successful job search strategy.   Growing your network has never been easier.   Social media has taken care of that.

No matter how extensive your virtual network, no matter how advanced and extensive your use of technology, nothing beats good old-fashioned face time.  Pressing the flesh, shaking hands, eyeballing, getting up close and personal, this is how and when things happen.

Whilst building your network online is certainly of value, building your network in the good old-fashioned way is still the best way to real results.

You can’t email a handshake.  It will cost you, time, shoe leather, cups of coffee, a round of sandwiches, dinner, a glass or two, some good questions, lots of listening and conversing, following up, staying in touch, but make the investment.  Get out from behind the desk, get away from the screen and get in the room.  It might just change your life.

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Filed under Careers, Social Media

No regrets

What is failure?  Among the dictionary definitions can be found the following ;

“non – performance of something due, required or expected”.

If you want to make a change, if you need to make a change, consider this.  The failure is in not acting, in not making the change, in not following through.  You follow through and things don’t quite work out as you would have wished, try again.

The failure is in not taking the leap, not the leap itself or the repercussions.  If you try something and it doesn’t work out as you wished, learn from the experience and try again.  At least you tried.  That should make you proud.

Consider this from Napoleon Hill

“All achievements, all riches earned, have their beginning in an idea.”

If you have an idea that’s really eating you up, act on it.  See it through.

Need to change your career?  Act on it.  Have an idea for a business?  Act on it.  What’s the worse thing that can happen?  That you wake up one day and think “if only”.  No regrets.  Make the change.

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You are who you are, not what you do.

You weren’t born a Teacher, Accountant, Engineer, Nurse, Doctor, Banker.  You became one.  If you don’t like what you do, change it.  Easier to say than to do, but it can be done.  It is not impossible.  The only thing that is holding you back is you.

In the same way you trained, learned to become a Surveyor, you can train in entirely the same way to do something else.  Sure you might need some help, but if you really must change then you can.

If you are happy, fulfilled, motivated, engaged then there is no need.  If you are none of those things, if you are simply turning up, going through the motions, you are going to get found it.  Life is too short.

What you are is not who you are.  For sure our job shapes us, influences us, has a big part to play in how we lead our lives, but it is not who you are, it is what you do.  If you need to do something different, you can.  You just have to start.  The first step is the hardest.  If you need to, you owe it to yourself to take it.  You won’t look back.

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Time for change

I tweet a lot.  I love it, it’s a great way to connect and engage with an enormous range of exceptionally gifted and bright people.  Yesterday I tweeted something that has stuck in my mind for quite some time,

“If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got”.

I wasn’t sure just who the quote was attributable to but those intelligent tweeters soon put me straight.  I had more than a few answers and indeed found that my quote was not entirely correct, although the sentiment certainly was.  Keep doing the same old same old and you will keep getting the same results.  For me this is no longer true.

I have been recruiting for 20 years.  I had a formula that worked for my customers ( 2 rebates in 18 years ), for job seekers and for me.  Whatever metric I apply by which to measure my success at the desk, my methods worked.  Very well.

Something changed.  My methods stopped proving so productive, frankly so lucrative.  They stopped being so rewarding.  The tried and tested, same old what I always did stopped giving me what I always got, namely lots of happy customers, a huge amount of satisfaction, a great deal of fun, a big grin some great friends and good lifestyle to boot.  No complaints.  It stopped.  So what happened?

Innovation.  Technology.  Connectivity.

The world has changed, is changing, will keep changing.   The only constant is change.  If you don’t adapt, don’t change, don’t re – invent, don’t at least move, you die.  So it’s time for a change.

In the meantime, my thanks to Mark Twain.   For it was he that said

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got”.  I am not one to disagree all that often with the great and good, but this time I must.  Time to stop doing what I always did and do something new.  It’s exciting and it’s coming.

Watch this space.


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Filed under Careers, Opportunity, Social Media

Strike a pose with your CV

Standing out from the crowd with your CV is incredibly difficult to do.  As I have said on many occasions in this blog the best way to put your CV together divides opinion.  There are lots of them.  Today’s Google count on “CV” numbered 301 million!

A little inspiration goes a long way.  I like therefore to showcase people who are doing things differently in their attempt to secure the job they want.  I have seen some great examples, hugely innovative, creative, striking even.  First up was the Employ Kyle campaign.  Brilliant.

https://transcendexecutivesearch.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/kyle-clarke-job-search-genius/

And there was the exceptional video resume campaign from Greame Anthony

https://transcendexecutivesearch.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/the-best-job-application-ever/

The latest to stand out is this campaign from Celine Cavaillero who is looking for a job in Fashion.

http://www.celineislookingforafashionjob.com/

I loved it.  It’s relevant for her target audience.  It showcases her creative skills and talents, qualifications and experience, likes, passions and hobbies.  It’s smart, clever, innovative.  On the premise that your CV is simply a catalyst for conversation it leaves me wanting to meet her, to know more, to ask questions.  It does the job.

From the perspective of a potential employer, this strikes me as someone who has gone to great lengths, time and effort to get the career of her choosing.  She is committed.  I want that on my team.  Who doesn’t?

So what do you think?  I for one congratulate Celine.  I am sure on the strength of this evidence she will enjoy much success.  Thank you for the inspiration.

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Filed under Hiring, Recruitment

Public Sector Pay – Time to redress the balance.

For too long we have been operating in the UK a publicly funded job creation scheme, which in itself would not be such a bad thing were it not for the fact that those taking from and taking out of the public sector would appear to be entirely motivated by money.  That, in public service, is fundamentally wrong.

The median average hourly rate of pay in the public sector is 30% higher than the private sector.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12549785

We had last weekend the well publicised story of the former leader of South Somerset District Council leaving his post and accepting a pay off in salary, redundancy payments and pension contributions of £569,000 after 6 years service.

Yes, that’s right, you read it correctly, FIVE – HUNDRED & SIXTY NINE THOUSAND POUNDS!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/8342025/Council-boss-who-got-record-pay-off-in-line-for-another-lucrative-position.html

My issue is that none or certainly nowhere near enough of the money that is spent on wages in the public sector goes to those that deserve it most.  Nurses, Teachers, Police Officers, Fire Fighters.  There are countless others I can add to that list.  These are the people that should be reaping the benefit of the increase in standards that we have seen in the last 10 years in public sector pay and conditions.  So why aren’t they?

The problem is that those that enter public service in these posts do so generally out of a sense of vocation, purpose and to serve others.  They don’t do it first and foremost for the money, they do it for a whole host of other reasons.  Therefore they tend to be at the back of the queue when it comes to being rewarded for the great work that they do.  They deserve a great wage for doing great work.  They don’t get it.  That sucks.

I don’t buy the argument that Public Sector bodies need to pay great salaries to attract great talent at the top.  If you are motivated by money ( and there is nothing wrong in that ) then by all means stay in the private sector, take your risks, take your chances and fill your boots.

If you are motivated by a desire to serve the greater good and public service ticks that box for you then by all means go run a hospital, a local council, but why on earth should you even think you should be paid more than the Prime Minister for doing so?  Who is running the remuneration committees in these organisation?

Certainly don’t walk away with in excess of 1/2 million quid for voluntary redundancy when the vast majority of those in your employ are earning less than 25 times that number!  That disgusts me.   It smacks of greed, lining of one’s own pocket from the public purse.  I know it happens, it is just not right and something needs to be done to stop it.

I would be delighted were I to be evidencing the average median hourly rate in the public sector was 30% higher than the private sector because nurses were paid so much more.  That figure is so high because those at the top have their noses in the trough, and its our trough.

If the CEO of a FTSE 100 company is being paid millions that is an issue for his or hers shareholders.  It is their money, not mine ( unless of course they are a bank! )  Time to redress the balance.  Give the money to those that deserve it most.  That is the basis of great public service.

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Filed under Careers, Remuneration

A little thanks goes a long way

After Birthday parties, Christmas or any other times of celebration my children sit down and write thank you notes to all those who have sent them a gift.  It’s time-consuming ( they are lucky kids, too often spoiled rotten by doting Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles ) but I think it important that they acknowledge the time and effort people around them have gone to.

This is not a lesson in parenting, nor am I trying to extol my virtues ( there are very few! )  It did however get me thinking of the values of saying thank you and the part that very simple yet enormously valuable expression can play in the job search.

How many of you ever write to say thank you after an interview?  Have you ever considered the value were you to do so?

Think of the impact on your application.  You may be one of three, five, ten invited in.  That process is often protracted ( it ought not to be but invariably is ).  Standing out from the crowd is tough.

Success is in the margins, the small things can make the biggest difference.  We are all human.  Anything that can help you to remain at the forefront of the hiring managers mind is to be recommended.  How long would it take you to write a note to thank your interviewer for their time and to re – affirm, politely, succinctly, your interest in the job?

Even if you have made the decision that this particular post isn’t for you, what impact a short note of thanks?  If another job was to arise in that organisation that is more in line with your ambitions, how would such a note impact your chances of success in a future job application?

It takes a second to say thank you, minutes to write an email to express your thanks.  Think of the potential impact on your job search?  What harm can it do?

Manners cost nothing.  Think about that next time you apply for a job.

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Filed under Careers, Interviews