“Social media has become a space in which we form and build relationships, shape self-identity, express ourselves, and learn about the world around us; it is intrinsically linked to mental health.” - Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, RSPH. Social media has certainly changed the way we "do" life and there are some incredible positives to it. Over the course of the last year, I have chosen to re-evaluate my own use of social media; some of that is because of my own experiences but also those of students / young people I have worked with directly. So, what follows are just my thoughts - not a manifesto - just one persons point of view.
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Have you ever heard the phrase, "you are your own worst enemy"? When it comes to job searching, this can often be the case but not for the reasons you might think.
The work skills I talked about in my last blog are crucial for a wide variety of jobs, but also everyday life. They go hand in hand with employability skills i.e. the ability to write a CV or personal statement, prepare for and negotiate an interview. But it all begins with a positive, teachable attitude. That attitude has to be a conscious choice because, unfortunately, it's not a preset or default setting.
Here we are; a new year and a new term. It's time to shake off the festive excesses and get back into routine. As we go forward into 2018 the prospect of exams and/or the completion of your course will start to come into focus. Along with that comes the prospect of applying for an Apprenticeship, or a work experience placement, perhaps part-time work or - eventually - a full-time job. In whichever way (and at whatever point) you are looking to access the world of work there are some key skills that employers will be looking for...
Some of you reading this may be still at school, perhaps in Year 11 - GCSE's are on the horizon and there are decisions to be made about your next step. Some of you may be on a full-time course and looking at progression. You may be the parent or guardian of someone who is. It can feel overwhelming, especially if you are not certain. If your goal is an Apprenticeship or full-time college course then we're here to help keep things on track!
Your CV is a tool to get you to an interview; that is its primary function. Therefore, the most important thing is to know the message you want to deliver, and make sure that everything on your CV supports that theme. In this blog, we look at some common mistakes and how to avoid them.
“I am disappointed but I am not discouraged” – Tennessee Williams
Enthusiasm – noun – "A strong feeling of excitement and interest in something and a desire to become involved in it".
Enthusiasm is contagious; it spreads to the people around you. It spreads to the people you work and do business with. Regardless of your particular industry or sector, work is all about people and (I don't know about you) but I want to work with people that inspire, motivate and challenge me.
WARNING: This blog post is designed to be a slightly tongue-in-cheek, reality check… but it has a serious point to make.
I am going to be completely honest; I did not leave school to become an Employability Skills Coach… or a Careers Adviser… or an Accounts Clerk… or most of the other roles I have accepted. My sixteen / seventeen year old self had plenty of ideas and, like a lot of my peers, I had parents that wanted to be actively involved in that decision-making process. But I wasn’t exactly keen to listen to my parents at that stage; I wanted to make my own way and make my own decisions. But, those decisions were uninformed.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been speaking to colleagues who are gearing up for another year of work experience placements for our students. Personally, I have often met students who reference their lack of experience as a barrier to employment. I have also met with candidates that cannot see the benefit in giving up their time for a work experience placement – or, volunteering – for reasons such as the student feels they should be paid, it’s a waste of time, I already have a part-time job, etc., etc.