Posts in CAREER
Asking an acquaintance for help/advice regarding new opportunities

Below is a script for asking an acquaintance for help/advice regarding new opportunities - hopefully you find it helpful. Obviously, you’ll need to tailor it to your situation by changing the words in CAPITALS first. You might even put your own style on it, but it’s a start.

"Hi ,

{YOUR NAME} here - I haven't seen/spoke to you since XYZ. I hope you're well...

To cut straight to the chase, I was wondering if I could ask you a massive favour. I'm looking for a new job a the moment after leaving the world of ABC behind me, and it's all a bit scary. So I was wondering if you have any advice for me on how to change jobs or find new opportunities? I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Basically, I'm looking for roles in {AREA, AREA and AREA}, or learning and development - that sort of thing. And I've completed a {COURSE TITLE} course recently.

I totally understand if you're swamped at work at the moment, but if you knew anyone who you think I should talk to or any roles coming up, I'd really appreciate if you could let me know. Of course, I'd look forward to returning the favour if/when the time comes!"

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CAREERRonan Kennedyscript
Following up on rejections

Thank you for taking the time to review my application for this role. I know these decisions are often tricky and the most likely reason I didn't get an interview is that there were other candidates who were more suitable, which I completely understand.

Also, I really appreciate you following up to let me know I haven't been successful, even though I'm sure you're busy - so thanks for that.

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CAREERRonan Kennedyscript
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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