Monday, 23 May 2011

Career Advice vs. Career Coaching

It is essential to recognise the difference between career advice and career coaching.  Career coaching is the lesser known term and is about helping individuals to change and achieve results in the way they want to in their careers.

It is easy to confuse career advice with career coaching. 

We all know what career advice is and many of us would have had exposure to a career adviser at school, college or university.  The career adviser would provide information on career options available and on how to qualify or get a job in those careers.  

A career coach takes a different approach to a career adviser. Although they work with similar people such as those wanting to progress in their career, find a new job or change career, career coaches do not give advice.  Instead, career coaches help to facilitate an individual’s thought process and suggest options to help them improve their situation by creating new possibilities and opportunities. 

Career coaches also go a step further and help individual’s to eliminate issues of procrastination, fear and negativity to help them achieve a fulfilling career.

The benefits of career coaching....

Some of the benefits of career coaching include finding the job or career best suited to your personality, discovering methods to resolve challenges at work and enabling career progression more quickly and easily than doing it alone.  

A further benefit of career coaching is that it does not look at an individual’s career in isolation.  The coach will ensure that all areas of an individual’s life are taken into account when a decision is being made.  Have a think about the times when your personal life has affected your working life or vice versa.  They of course do overlap and so the work-life balance must be considered.

Individuals are far more committed to actions or decisions they have made  themselves, as opposed to a decision someone has made for them or advised them to take, and this is what career coaching is all about.  So, if you are thinking of a career change, looking for a new job or struggling with your performance at work, coaching can help you put the control back into your career.

Require more information on career coaching?  Have a look at the factsheets within the ‘coaching’ section here.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Job hunting and getting the job you want

You have decided what you want to do for a job and are busy job hunting.  Perhaps you have decided to pursue a career change.  Perhaps you are returning to work or developing your existing career path.  How is your job hunt going?  Are you getting the results you want?   

Job hunting can be tiring and time consuming.  It often involves searching endlessly through job adverts with an eagerness to match personal skills to job specifications.  If you are starting to find that you have been battling away at your job search for weeks now and your approach is not working, ask yourself the following questions?

1.     Do I have a really clear idea of my career direction?
2.     Am I giving my job hunt adequate time?
3.     Have I developed a system to help me organise my job search?
4.     Am I using all my resources?  As well as applying for advertised vacancies, am I using networking techniques, recruitment consultants and speculative approaches to help me get the job I want?

If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions, take a step back and consider how you can improve your job search and start adapting some of your job hunting techniques.  Committing to your search in this way will increase your chances of success and open up further opportunities for you.    

Thinking of a career change? Sign up to my 30 free tips on making a successful career change and getting the job you want here.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Career Change - An important message

The new series of The Apprentice has begun and the message from Lord Sugar in last night’s episode was ‘use what you are good at.’ 

This is an important message for all those wanting to pursue a career change.

When you are wishing to pursue a career change, remember that your past experiences are relevant and can help you out in your later career.  Use what you are good at by identifying your transferable skills and take these skills from one job to another.  Not only will you then give yourself a head start, you will also be in a great position for developing further skills.

Also, remember that previous contacts and colleagues may be able to help you in the future.  Do not leave them behind when you are pursuing a career change as you never know when you may need them again.  Ensure you don’t burn any bridges and leave on good terms.  In doing this, you will soon develop a very strong and supportive network to help you succeed in your future career path. 

So, if you are thinking about changing career, use what you are good at, keep in contact and be proud of what you have achieved.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

How is your work-life balance?

‘A work-life balance is a situation in which you are able to give the right amount of time and effort to your work and to your personal life, for example to your family or to other interests.’

Many of us have just enjoyed two consecutive four-day weekends.  Two four-day working weeks with a 3-day week in between - fantastic!  The weather has been great and there have been celebrations for the Royal Wedding and barbeques in the sun.  Many of us have also taken advantage of being able to take 3 days annual leave to get 11 days holiday or even taken 11 days annual leave to get 23 days holiday.  Suddenly this work-life balance isn’t so bad after all!  Until...’s back to reality. 

Over the years, our work-life balance has attracted increasing attention.  Individuals are realising that they are giving a lot of their time and energy to work but are dissatisfied with the amount of time, energy and attention they are giving other areas of their life such as family, friends, interests, relaxation and fitness. 

What is the reason for this?

Perhaps it’s the importance individuals place on their career together with the pressure to find a job and discover a good career path.  Perhaps it’s the demands employers place on their employees or a lack of flexible working in the work place.  

Whatever the reason, the consequences will be similar for all.  Failing to achieve a work-life balance can result in less productivity at work, increased stress levels and a feeling of being unfulfilled in and out of work. 

How motivated do you feel now?  Is it time to review your work-life balance?

Finding the best work-life balance for you can enable you to achieve enjoyment and fulfilment at home and at work.  It involves taking control and striking a balance between your needs at work and your needs in your personal life.  You may wish to pursue a career change, become an entrepreneur or make some alterations to your working day.   There are many ways to achieve a work-life balance.

To enhance your quality of life and to find out more click here for some further tips on achieving a work-life balance.