Tag Archives: careers

Is the grass greener?

There are times when I am convinced that I was born in the wrong country.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a fiercely proud Englishman.  It’s just that I love the sunshine.  From November to February I seem to live my life in the dark, up in the dark, travel to work in the dark, come home in the dark.  I don’t feel as if I see daylight for four months.  It is a form of hibernation.

It would appear I am not alone.  A survey by job site http://www.escapethecity.org found in the region of 70% of executives surveyed are considering a move abroad to live and work.  Among the more popular destinations were Asia, Australia and Africa.  France and Spain still feature among the top five destinations, but migrating south to our warmer Eurozone partners has become increasingly expensive as the pound has continued to decline against the Euro.

The results of this survey are not just simply about the weather.  Dig deeper and you’ll find this is more about the pursuit of happiness than it is about chasing sunshine.  Of those surveyed, just 10% felt that their current job was their vocation.   70% admitted to being bored at work.

This is about chasing a dream.  People want something different, they want to feel as if they are contributing to something more than just a bottom line but find it hard to break from the routine, lifestyle, comfort and often necessity of income.

The results of this survey are not about where you live but the sense of belonging, purpose and connection with what you do.  You can get such connection anywhere in the world.  In a global war for talent, employers are going to have to come up with increasingly innovative ways of connecting with their employees or risk increasing staff turnover and decreasing productivity.

David Cameron is proposing a national measure of happiness alongside traditional GDP as a way of evidencing the progress we are making as a country.  I shall be interested to see the results.  With only 10% of us enjoying a vocation and 70% of us bored, there is much to be done to lift the sense of satisfaction that people have in the workplace.  This is both the responsibility of not just employers, but the individual to understand more about their motivations and the state to create the conditions that encourages people to pursue their dreams.  I accept this is something of an ideology but people are peering over the fence and asking if the grass may just be greener on the other side.

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Job search 2.010 – the value of your network.

In excess of 70% of job opportunities never make it to the public domain.  It’s not what but who you know when it comes to looking for a job.

Make a list.  Who do you know that can have a part to play in influencing a successful outcome for you?  Of those on your list, who might they know who can have a similar positive influence?  Play a game.  Start mapping, listing names, linking them to the people they know.  It’s all about degrees of separation.  You’ll be amazed who in your network is connected to who.

You’ll never truly understand the value in your network until you test it out.  See for yourself.  Grab a pen and paper and get started.  One name leads to another.  They all have a part to play in realising your goals.  Even if you don’t realise right there and then, how or why, you will have written that name down for a reason.  Don’t hesitate, take the first names that crop up in your mind and start building.  Even if it seems daft, it won’t be.  Write it down anyway.

Before you start connecting, consider that success in networking is unlikely if your approach is one of “what can I get”.    Think about what you can give.  Information, articles, knowledge, connections?  Is there someone in your network that can help them, that you can connect them with, that will create mutual value?  If you believe in the value you can add, evidence it to them.  Show them the value you can provide by giving that connection, the piece of information, that article.  If you want that relationship to strengthen over time, keep giving, keep adding value, keep helping.

Approach networking on the basis of “what’s in this for us”.   Your chances of success will be greatly enhanced.  Networking is all about what you can give,  not what you can get.  Give and keep giving.  It takes time, don’t expect immediate results.  What you put in you will get back, eventually.  Sure there will always be those who are happy to take and give nothing in return.  That says more about them then it does about you.  Don’t lose heart.  Reach out to those in your network.  Give, help, add value, connect.   You’ll be amazed what comes back to you.

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“Any Given Sunday” – Al Pacino’s inspirational speech

We all need a little inspiration from time to time. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, who it comes from or how it happens. We all need a little something to lift us up. It can come from anywhere, at anytime, from anyone. You’ll know it when you hear it, see it, feel it. It can come when you least expect it, from the most unlikely source. Its an entirely personal thing, it means different things for different people. There is no right or wrong, just different. When it comes to people, their is no one size to fit us all. We can move ahead in giant leaps, we can move forward in inches, the distance doesn’t matter. The point is simple. With a little inspiration we can all move forward. Look around you, inspiration comes in so many forms. Be inspired. Inspire others.

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How great leaders inspire action

Everything in life stems from why.  If you absolute and clear understanding as to why you want to achieve something and can communicate the way with clarity and specificity so that it becomes compelling, the what and the how is the easy part.

You can apply this to the job search or the hiring process.  For the job seeker, having absolute clarity as to why an organisation should hire you is critical.  Having absolute understanding as to why you want to pursue a specific career path makes it compelling, it gives you purpose, focus.

The same is true for the hiring manager.  Really understand why you need to hire (it isn’t because someone just resigned and you have a vacant post to fill).  Make the reason someone should join your company compelling.  People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.  This is the key to making great hires.  Understand this and your organisation will flourish.  Simon Sinek explains in this excellent TED production.

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