Proactive in uncertain times


In these unprecedented times, it’s easy to become caught up in the immediate and lose sight of the long-term. Our Coaches and Consultants at Career Evolution have had to adapt, as everyone has, to the measures that have been implemented by the UK government. These have included social distancing, working remotely and the paring back or closing of many businesses.

Business as usual

Nevertheless, Career Evolution continues to offer advice and support on many levels to staff and HR personnel. Technology has a big part to play in achieving this. Although our face-to-face meetings and group sessions have had to move online – via telephone and the Zoom platform – we are still able to offer our clients a personal service. This means they are still receiving guidance as and when they need it, from specialist Consultants with years of experience across many sectors. The only thing that’s changed is the media.

Lines of enquiry

With less time spent on the road and delivering sessions, Sue Thomas, Career Evolution’s Founding Director is working closely with her Consultants to develop clients’ campaigns. This will provide additional value, as she shares her wealth of first-hand experience. An initial call usually involves a lot of listening and prompts. It is an opportunity for our clients to tell their story. The process can easily be carried out remotely and provide the background of an overall profile. From an initial telephone conversation, or internet consultation, Sue can ascertain her client’s strengths, weaknesses and ambitions, and help them map out their future role.

New avenues

In times such as these, when uncertainty and doubt play a big part in future developments, the most important thing is to have clarity about what you want to do next. By doing this, it allows some focus in all this ambiguity. By identifying what you want to do in terms of career progression, you can then plan how you will achieve it. It is useful to spend the time now outlining how you can do this. It could include exploring new sectors, which might be congruent with your present career, or updating and sharpening your CV to include some of your more recent career milestones and achievements.

Wise use of time

In the present situation, interviews are currently being pulled and candidates need to manage the psychological impact of that too. Certainly days, sometimes weeks, of preparation will have been done and this will need to be picked up again at an unknown point in the future when it’s business as usual once more.

But people need to be fully ready when normal life resumes. Proactive preparation done now will stand you in better stead when people start recruiting properly again. It’s worth spending some time thinking how you can use the time wisely – to make yourself an even stronger, more professional candidate for your next challenge.

How to stay connected whilst working remotely

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Often seen as an ideal for many staff, remote working is becoming something of a necessity in the current economic and social climate. Thanks to the portability of work technology, it is perfectly possible for employees to work as efficiently as if they were onsite in an office.

Here is our advice on how to stay connected whilst working remotely…

For companies:

Companies are being steered by necessity towards offering the flexibility of remote working. This option is increasingly becoming the norm for interconnected and international businesses.

Below are three ways to keep up with this changing way of working:

  1. Bring the team together

When things return to normal, encourage remote workers to visit the company offices when possible. Get staff together, such as through teambuilding days or company celebrations, to encourage team bonding and reduce employee isolation.

  1. Prepare for remote working

Have a policy in place to assist team members to know how to conduct themselves whilst working remotely> This should also cover how managers are expected to tackle the complexities of team members working remotely.

  1. Assist with time and career management

At Career Evolution, we can assist your business to provide the resources needed to support either individuals working remotely or staff managing remote members. Taking advantage of career coaching or building resilience, can reduce the time and emotional strain that this can bring.

For managers:

Working with and managing remote team members can arise for many reasons. It could be because of the current virus crisis, or because team members have regularly allotted days when they work from home. Managers may be supervising individuals at home on the odd occasion, or more employees when part of a large or international company.

Here are three key ways to stay connected with your remote team members:

  1. Smart working

Encourage the use of online shared work systems. Platforms such as the cloud help keep team members connected to the office. While the use of Google Documents shows who is logged in and making changes and when. This will assist with tracking productivity.

  1. Keep up the conversation

Create a chat group such as on Slack or Sqwiggle, and involve members in video meetings or phone calls, such as on Skype or FaceTime, to stay connected to remote team members and make them feel part of the team.

  1. Be considerate of different time zones

When working with team members internationally, set up daily time reminders of when staff should be coming online, to touch base with them at the start of their day.

For individuals:

As an individual, it’s important to stay connected to the team whilst working remotely. Your manager has trusted that you will continue to tackle your work as normal. Working from home is not an excuse to catch up on household chores or watch TV.

Below are three of the best ways to stay connected to the office and show that your work is still being done effectively and efficiently:

  1. ‘Go’ to work

Set up a workspace somewhere quiet, with all the equipment you need. Avoid distractions and to do your work.

  1. Be proactive

Send daily updates of what you are going to be working on. At the end of the working day, update on what you have achieved, and what still remains to be done. If you work remotely extensively, an end-of-the-week update is also effective to illustrate your productivity.

  1. Communicate early and often

Be available to respond quickly to any work messages and emails. This shows that you are still engaged and carrying on with your work. Also stay connected with at least one other colleague throughout the day, to act as a sounding board.

Contact our professional team of experts to see how we can best assist you and your business to make remote working possible.

Career Diagnostics

Making big decisions about a career move can be very daunting, especially when a person is unsure of what they truly want. Investing in career management services to support employees allows them to integrate career research with expert advice on the best next move for them. A career consultant will take the time to understand a person’s skillset, experience and preferences, when it comes to a job. They will understand what location, working hours and role responsibilities they need. This will help channel them towards the correct choice. Career consultants are highly skilled at tailoring job searches. This helps ensure they get the right person for the role – and that the role is a good fit for them.

Opportunity knocks

When change happens, it’s important for employees to see it as an opportunity. Its a chance to find a job that is perfect for them. Career consultants will help an employee take the time to understand what they want and need out of a role before applying. If it’s not what the person wants, then they shouldn’t settle for a role due to stress and uncertainty. A career consultant will help them identify the perfect role. Then they will help them take the time to seek out that role at a company that’s perfect for them. Settling for a role that doesn’t satisfy their needs will lead them to being unhappy from the start. Career consultants understand the emotions and stresses faced by an employee being made redundant, and can provide support to help them get through that time of change.

Next steps

There are lots of questions to ask and it’s vital that consultants identify the employee’s key skills and areas of interest. Prioritising their needs will help in determining the outcome. Taking the time to find the right role benefits the person and their new company. It will also leave the employee with a good memory of your business, as the company that supported them through their redundancy and transition into a new role. Outsourcing a career consultant to help employees facing redundancy will benefit your company’s reputation and keep good relationships with existing and previous employees.

10 signs your team would benefit from coaching  

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Times are changing

Change is an inevitable part of life, especially within the working environment. However, it can be difficult for companies and staff to keep up with these changes. Often, particularly for more senior members of staff, some can become lost and even left behind in these challenging times.

Sadly, this can lead to employees struggling or even handing in their notice, in the face of being unable to keep up with the changes. Not only can this be damaging for the individual leaving the company, but also for colleagues remaining who may then become more fearful and resistant to company change.

Noticing the signs

Changes in a staff member’s behaviour can be a key sign that individuals are not coping well with company adjustments.

Here are 10 signs which could indicate that your staff are not managing effectively with change:

  1. Frustration – with themselves and other colleagues.
  2. Stress – anxiety and general unhappiness.
  3. Isolation – lack of conversing and reduced sociability.
  4. Unprepared – looking or feeling lost and out of their depth.
  5. Increased periods of time off – illness or an unwillingness to be in work.
  6. Boredom – a reduced enthusiasm for their job.
  7. Disputes with colleagues – becoming resistant or more argumentative.
  8. Lack of confidence – in themselves and their work.
  9. Punctuality – continual lateness.
  10. Procrastinating – unwilling or unable to complete their tasks.

Inevitably, how well employees are able to deal with changes can strongly affect the business. At Career Evolution, we understand how crucial it is to help these colleagues cope.

A positive change

Our expert coaching programmes are designed to aid members of staff at all levels, including those at more advanced positions such as senior managers and directors. Our highly qualified coaches will assist your staff to handle change effectively.

This includes helping people before, during and after change. We offer bespoke support on a one-to-one and group basis.

Tailored specifically for how to best suit your employee’s needs, our coaching enables individuals to recognise their value, and most importantly, how they and your company can continue to succeed in the face of change.

Change for the better

Change should be embraced as a positive opportunity; not as something to be feared and treated with scepticism and suspicion. Change is vital for businesses to adapt and survive in an environment where too many companies have already buckled under the pressure of not keeping up with the times.

Helping employees to take control of their changing role or situation, and formulate a plan for the future that will work for them, is the key to helping individuals thrive and prosper.  It is important to strive ahead and bring about positive change together.

Why People Fear Change

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When it comes to change, people can have very positive or negative feelings towards something new. This is especially true when it is in the workplace. A job represents stability and security for many people. The fear of that stability or security coming under threat can be very daunting. We spend a great deal of our lives at work and it has a huge impact on our wellbeing. But it’s a known fact that businesses have to change all the time.

Evolution of business

It’s important that businesses continue to evolve, in order to remain relevant within their industry. However, recognising and understanding employees concerns about change can help ensure both employee and employer survive and see the benefits of the changes.

The fear of change can be deep-seated and comes from factors like loss of control and uncertainty. If a business decision is unexpected, it can have a huge impact on the company’s employees.  It needs to be handled in a positive way, so people aren’t left feeling let down or vulnerable.

The wider implications of change

Change, particularly where there are redundancies or job losses involved, does not only impact on the people directly affected by it.  It can also affect the wider team, even if their roles do not change.  Unless handled correctly, change can lead to team members feeling isolated, and in turn, they can become resistant to change.

To ensure change is managed effectively it is important to maintain morale within the team.  To do this, communication is key.  Good, clear, open communication can help take away some of the fear associated with change.  If people are kept informed and understand what is happening and why, then they are more likely to accept – or even embrace – change.

Maintaining a positive attitude

Understanding what employees need to get through change with a positive attitude and outlook can benefit everyone. Outplacement can also be used to support employees from the announcement of change all the way through to securing their future placements, ensuring that the experience is positive for all.