Friday, 24 August 2012

How social media can help your career

When I started my business, I had to embrace social media having been advised that the internet would be a prime location for marketing my business.   However, having only used Linkedin and Facebook on a superficial level and with little knowledge of the workings of Twitter, I had a lot to learn.  I also had a lot to believe.

Could social media really help me to gain business?

Yes it could and I do now gain business from social media.

In a similar way, social media can also help to progress your career.  It can enhance your job search and help you find the job you want, particularly as recruiters are increasingly using social media to find potential employees.

As I use social media to market, develop and progress my business, you too can use it to market yourself and develop your career.  It is a great way to keep in touch with the world and network within professions of interest to you.

Below is a brief description of how Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter can help your career...


Linkedin is a professional network used for networking, job searches and connecting with relevant businesses and interest groups.  To start, you need to create a professional profile detailing information about your skills and experiences.  It look likes an online CV.

Once you have completed your profile, start connecting with people you know.  Use your connections to help you – you never know who other people know.   It is also a great way of finding out about jobs, especially if you are considering a career change.

You can adjust your visibility settings to enable recruiters and employers to find you.


If you use Facebook on a personal level ensure your privacy settings are adjusted so that only the people you trust can see the information.  The last thing you want is for a prospective employer to see an embarrassing photo of you on Facebook.  Keep business and pleasure separate.

If you are setting up your own business, you can set up a business page on Facebook.  This should be separate to your personal profile.


Twitter is used to receive instant updates from your friends, industry experts and celebrities and to find out about what’s happening around the world.  It can be used in conjunction with Linkedin and can help you to market yourself and build connections to enhance your job search.

Again, remember to keep business and pleasure separate.  Using a Twitter account to enhance your job search should not be used for personal communications. If you want to use twitter for personal use, ensure you set up a separate account.

As a final thought, it is important to note that social media should not be used in isolation to get the job you want.  Continue using traditional job finding methods, such as creating a CV, making speculative applications, responding to job advertisements and using recruitment consultants, alongside building your online presence.  This will give you the best chance of building a successful career.

Friday, 10 August 2012


Helen Glover took up rowing in 2008 and won an Olympic gold medal in 2012!  Not bad for four year’s work!

No doubt you can all recall GB’s first gold medal at these Olympics won by the women’s rowing pair, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, on day 5.    What excitement!

However, were you as surprised as me to hear that Helen Glover had only started rowing four years ago?  In response, did this inspire you to go out and buy a rowing boat in preparation for Rio 2016?!

Well anything is possible, isn’t it?

You certainly won’t know unless you give it a try....and I don’t mean rowing as perhaps we are not all destined to be rowers but have a think about what you would like to achieve and use these Olympics as your inspiration.

Start looking for different ways of achieving your goal and act on them.  Helen Glover’s mother saw an advertisement in the newspaper asking for ‘tall people’ to take up rowing!    Helen responded, took the opportunity and rose to the challenge with commitment and focus.

Just take a minute to think about what you can achieve in 4 years and go for it!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Lawyers and dealing with difficult clients

As lawyers you can’t avoid them.  Amongst your case load, there will be difficult clients you dread communicating with.  Every time the phone rings, you think it will be them despite the fact they are one of many clients you have. 

They may even occasionally pop into the office to see you as if you have all the time in the world to spend with them.  Well, from their point of view they are paying you a lot of money to do a job, yet they will probably still gasp at the bill when all this extra time they have demanded from you has cost them.  When you are told they are waiting for you in reception, you wonder how long you can pretend to be at lunch.

Ultimately, difficult clients can knock your confidence and increase stress levels, particularly if you are a perfectionist or have a tendency to feel sensitive towards what people think about you.

You may feel you are not doing your job very well when you can’t seem to do anything to please your client.  You may think they don’t like you and end up spending more time and energy on these clients than any of your other clients who require your valuable time as well. 

How to deal with a difficult client

What are your options?
  1. Try, try and try again to please your client
  2. Avoid your client
  3. Find ways to deal with your client so that you can limit the time you spend feeling worried and stressed about them and focus positively on work that needs to be done.
Unsurprisingly, I would suggest 1 and 2 are unrealistic so how about focusing on number 3?  Here are a few pointers to get you started: 

  1. Don’t take it personally.
  2. Try and understand the conversation from the client’s point of view by asking open questions.  This will ensure they feel listened to.
  3. Focus on what you did well.  Don’t dwell on the negative part of difficult conversations you may have had with your client.  Move on and decide your next action.
  4. Go for a walk or take a break after a difficult interaction to clear you head.  You will be much more productive upon returning to your desk.
  5. Talk to your boss about it.

Give it a go.  It will be much better this way, than panicking every time your phone rings.  It may even improve your relationship with these clients and you will miss them when they no longer need you!