Tag Archives: stepping up

Standing Out To Employers In These Economic Times

Getting on to the employment ladder is a very tough task for a lot of people nowadays. The economy finds itself in a state of continued difficulty and there is little argument to be had regarding the assertion that the credit crunch has separated the weak and the strong in terms of supposedly simple things such as having a job.

The days of employees being able to casually amble on through their working lives, doing the bare minimum and spending half of the day watching the clock and waiting for the glorious moment when the little hand hits 5pm seem to have come to an end. In fact, to some people’s horror, it is quite the opposite; now there simply are not enough hours in the day and most people find themselves taking their work home with them.

The truth of the matter is that this is exactly what separates people in the employment game. Companies can no longer afford to hire staff that simply will not pull their weight any more. Of course they would not have wanted to in the first place, but financing for businesses is now at a situation where a few wrong moves in the recruitment sector and the business could be facing severe difficulties. Nowadays, companies demand the most from their employees and rightly so. A lot of companies can demand employees that are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in their roles; they want employees that are willing to stay behind after hours to ensure that the work gets done.

This new found expectation from employers has no doubt come as a bit of a shock for some people and may be a factor that is directly attributed towards the high unemployment figures that seem to be reported every other day.

What is the solution for those people who would not exactly classify themselves as the dedicated type when it comes to giving their all in the name of employment? The only thing those people can do is either adopt a working pattern to make an employer sit up and take notice or alternatively they can join the millions of other people in the Job Centre. The tough economic times are certainly not what anyone wanted or envisaged but they are still here and they are affecting people so the only solution is to, as with most things, get your head down and work.

This blog post was written by Kelvin Whittaker, a specialist in the recruitment field, particularly accounting and tax recruitment writing on behalf of www.pro-tax.co.uk.

Hotel GB – an experiment

Last week Channel 4 presented us with a weeklong show called Hotel GB which essentially was a hotel set up taking on 14 trainees from all different walks of life who had previously had difficulty in securing jobs, Gordon Ramsay and Mary Portas took the joint general manager roles and worked with the trainees to run the hotel. The aim of the show was to demonstrate that people often overlooked for jobs could be nurtured into successful candidates moving forward and instil some confidence back into the individuals with the hope of infusing some self worth and purpose too. To add some incentive to the show a competition was set for each team to go into contest and secure the biggest turnover and tips – customers from celebrities to service industry executives were invited to dine, engage in services, have events and stay at the hotel, they only had to pay for services if they were happy and all proceeds are being distributed to charities.

The program was not only entertaining, it also proved to be a great way of showcasing individuals who for whatever reasons had not been given opportunities to flourish in the work environment. A good number of the trainees demonstrated fantastic skills and determination to succeed and although a few struggled with the stress of being thrown in at the deep end – with the encouragement of all the team leaders they harvested success.

At the end of the show one lucky trainee from each team was offered a job with each Co General Manager Mary and Gordon. However what the trainees weren’t aware of was that hoteliers and leaders in the service industry were customers too and each trainee was offered a job at the end.

What a fantastic way to demonstrate to employers and employees alike that with a little effort, and some empowerment that even those with no work experience really can succeed.

As the media reports high volumes of unemployment for under skilled young people this program really facilitated some hope for all currently struggling to get their foot on the first rung of a career and really inspired the trainees.

It would be wonderful if other organisations embraced such opportunities to take on trainees from underprivileged backgrounds – reminding people as a whole that sometimes being given a sense of worth and encouragement that they can actually do it and turn their lives around.

The show also played a key reminder to everyone that we all had to start out working somewhere and didn’t just drop into high flying professional positions, but with hard work and determination we can achieve a whole lot more.


Six Things To Do Before An Interview – Guest Blog

With the current economic climate in its current state, interviews, let alone job offers, are a little on the rare side. Because of this, when you’re called in to discuss your suitability for a position, you can’t afford not to put on a good show.

Though the interview itself is of course important, what you do before the interview is equally so. When it comes to effective interviewing, preparation is key.

An hour spent preparing for an interview can not only save you a lot of awkward silences and regretful rambling, it can also greatly increase the chances of you actually landing the job. Here are six things that you should do before every job interview.

Research the Company

The first thing that you should do upon landing an interview is to spend a few minutes researching the company in question. Many job candidates arrive at interviews knowing little other than the companies name and this sends a very bad message.

A little bit of research about both the company and the industry in which it operates will allow you to illustrate that you are serious the position.

Ask Yourself What they Want

If you’ve been called in for an interview, you probably meet the positions requirements in terms of both qualifications and experience. The interview is your chance to illustrate that you also meet the positions requirements in terms of personality.

To do this, you need to ask yourself what they are looking for. What specific personality traits would allow you to perform the job well?

Think of Examples

Once you’ve established what personality traits the employer is looking for, you then need to figure out how you are going to demonstrate them. Unfortunately, listing them is isn’t going to work.

You need to come with specific examples in your past employment when you demonstrated said traits. Specific examples speak volumes, general adjectives say very little.

Decide What to Ask

Unprepared job applicants are often stumped at the end of job interviews when they are asked if they have any questions. You can save yourself a lot of stuttering by coming up with a few questions to ask before hand.

Avoid asking about the salary. Instead ask about working conditions and specifics of the role. Doing so allows you to demonstrate that you won’t work just anywhere.

Choose the Right Clothes

Regardless of what position you are applying for, you can’t go wrong with a suit. Some people question the suitability of such attire when they are applying to work somewhere with a casual dress code. Ignore such thoughts.

There is no such thing as a casual dress code when it comes to job interviews. When you wear a suit, you are demonstrating that you are both a professional and somebody that genuinely cares about landing the position.

Map Your Route

Finally, we have the small matter of deciding how you’re going to get to the interview. Many people don’t make a trial run and this is why so many people arrive at job interviews late.

When you go somewhere that you haven’t been before, traffic is difficult to predict and wrong turns are easy to make. And just because you know where the building is, that does not mean that you know where the actual interview room is. Always do a trial run.

Peter Johnson is an established career consultant who offers professional assistance to students seeking designer jobs.

Portfolio , Programme, Project – What’s the difference? Friday snippet

OK so today we are going back to basics, talking through what a portfolio, programme and project actually are. I was in consultation with a project manager last week who was describing his current project list, as we talked through his input into the business he asked if he was in fact a programme manager – which lead me to write this blog piece. Having spent more years than I care to remember delivering and studying in the field of project management it dawned on me that a great deal of professionals currently working in the field of project management rarely get an outsider perspective and certainly won’t have read through the skip load of books I have. So those of us who are well into the field of PPM are sat inside a rather well oiled bubble and there are hundreds of effective and hard working PPM professionals out there who are just beginning to learn of our bubble. So for all those new to the bubble – welcome and here’s a basic overview of the 3 Ps.

  • PROJECT – A piece of work with a definite start and end, and clearly defined deliverable.
  • PROGRAMME – A programme is a number of related projects run collectively to obtain specific strategic objectives and benefits.
  • PORTFOLIO – A portfolio is an assortment of projects or programmes categorised to facilitate meeting strategic business objectives through effective management. This is a centralised management of programmes, projects and sometimes portfolios which aren’t necessarily interdependent or related directly.


OK so now we have cleared that up in the simplest form – here’s a couple of useful links for further information (APM MSP MoP) . Once you start to get a grasp of the basics, I assure you, you will be drawn into wanting to know more.

If you are in need of some advice about what it is you actually do – get in touch, no question is a stupid question and with a little consultation we will have you well placed for taking that next step to finding a new role: www.thecvrighter.co.uk