Posts in CAREER
Create a professional summary to "sell yourself"

“You need to sell yourself more“ is a phrase you’ve probably heard one hundred times or more. But the chances are that you don’t like the idea of selling yourself at all. Something about it seems awful, or disingenuous. But, never the less, we need to be able to do it - especially if we’re competing against others who are selling themselves really well. Below are some points you can use to sell yourself well and to talk about yourself in interviews. The idea is that you don’t sell yourself as more than you are, but not less than you are, just exactly as you are, and honestly. That way, you’ll have no trouble backing up what you’ve said and it will give you more confidence when describing your career.

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How to sell yourself and sound humble
  1. I had the opportunity to work with a great team which allowed me to...

  2. My role involves taking responsibility for...

  3. I've really worked hard over the past few years to develop my skills in...

  4. I've been fortunate enough to work with clients/stakeholders and deliver..., which resulted in an increase/improvement

  5. Luckily, after some trial and error, I figured out that..., which was key because it meant that...

  6. The benefit of the (qualifications/experience/manager/mentor) that I've had, ensured that...

  7. The (challenge) that I've had in my previous role has facilitated and empowered my personal/professional development in terms of...

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Job Application Management

Sending lots of applications to job postings, companies, professional contacts can be confusing. Below I’ve attached a spreadsheet that should help you organise the various applications, along with when you should follow up with them.

I would normally give a company two weeks to respond to an application (maybe longer if it’s the public sector), and then follow up with an email. If there’s no response to that, it's worth calling them a week later to check on the progress of the application.

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How to leave your job

When should you leave your job?

  • Firstly, you have to consider your financial stability and employment options - you need to be financially stable to leave your job, and ideally you should have another job to go to.

  • You should leave your job if you are extremely unhappy in it and you’ve been unhappy in it for a while. I think it’s important to acknowledge that we all have parts of our jobs that we don’t like, but we should aim for about 80% or more satisfaction - I think that’s reasonable.

  • You should leave your job if the environment is toxic and you’ve tried to make it better.

  • You should leave you job if you get offered a better opportunity with good conditions in the contract.

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The script for quitting your job

Sometimes quitting is a job difficult. We worry about the consequences for our career, the rebuttal from our manager or even just an awkward conversation. Lots of different thoughts can go through your mind: “what if they ask me to stay?”, “what if they offer me a position in a different department that I don’t want?“, “what if they guilt me into staying for another few months or promise me there will be changes, when I know in reality that nothing will change?“. And so on…

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Creating Compelling Work Goals

What are your targets for this year? It’s the same question if you’re a business owner or an employee.

One of the big issues I see people having in this area is the lack of clarity around what the actual goals are. They might know generally speaking what they have to do - but they don’t know how to do it and when to have it done by. That’s why I created a handy template that you can use to identify and track your goals. Please click the button below to open the document.

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How to destroy a working relationship: Ego

I recently read Ryan Holiday's book 'Ego is the Enemy', which I found very thought-provoking. If you're like me, you'd expect to understand the content of the book just by hearing the title, however, according to Ryan, that would be your ego talking.

Listing to all the stories of clients over the past few years, and thinking back over my own personal career challenges, disagreements with colleagues and growth struggles, I was struck by how much of it can relate back to ego being a central component. 

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Anti-fragile

"What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Well, while that’s not quite true, we all get the idea. That’s also the premise of Nassim Taleb’s book ‘Antifragiel’ which talks about how various stress on different systems (from the human body to the financial markets) actually benefit from temporary stress because it allows them to develop great resilience and long-term strength. For example, going to the gym to put your body under temporary stress will ‘weaken’ your muscles for the day but strengthen them overall. Dealing with challenging new situations in work is often stressful, but prepares us for doing that in the future.

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Learning to say 'no'

You might be surprised to find out that some people find it difficult to say 'no'. Perhaps they think it's rude, impolite or inflexible. It's not. Of course, it's always good to show a collaborative spirit, to be open to change, constructive criticism, and to do things that are in the best interest of the group (within reason). 

However, if something is clearly negative for the person involved, it's important to be able to have the difficult conversation; to say 'no'; or ask for what you really want (e.g. more money, time, responsibility). With that in mind, you have to find your own comfortable way of saying it but here are some examples:

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