Welcome to our first vlog!

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Welcome to our first vlog from Career Evolution!

We will be sharing weekly advice and updates from the industry on outplacement, career management, and coaching.

In this first video our director, Sue Thomas, rounds up some of our posts from April, including authenticity, proving yourself, and finding the right blend of hybrid working.

Watch the video below:

Employing the right blend for coaching

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Every individual is different and methods and techniques that work for one person may not be appropriate for another. Coaching can help all kinds of people to focus their careers and identify where their strengths lie. Every Coach has their own style and knows what works and what doesn’t, when it comes to helping an individual reach their full potential.  But in the current work environment, is a blended delivery style the way forward, to deliver the best service and most effective results?

A conventional approach

To truly engage with a client who is undertaking coaching, it’s important to make sure the delivery of the coaching is suitable for them. The conventional way to deliver coaching was via in-person, face-to-face sessions.

The in-person approach is ideal for fully understanding the personality and capabilities of the Coach’s client. You get a much better sense of someone’s character, their presence, confidence, strengths, and so on. But now, with ever more employees requesting – or being encouraged/forced into – working from home, a more blended delivery approach is now required.

Adopting new tech

For a variety of reasons, staff are increasingly working from home or adopting a hybrid work pattern.  Many companies are downsizing their office space, while others are recognising the myriad advantages of staff working in a hybrid model of home and office. The increasing prominence of online meeting and communication platforms for everyday office business – the deployment of Google Teams, Zoom and other tech – has allowed a much greater focus on efficiency and productivity. There’s no commute and preamble to an online meeting, so business can be discussed, in theory, at a greater pace. In coaching too, remote learning has become a great way to undergo training and guidance.

Connected coaching

Setting up online meetings for coaching should perhaps not be carried out from the outset. The initial contact ideally should still be in person, but the remote aspects of coaching can conserve resources, such as time and money, in the long term. It also, of course, means that distance is no object, when it comes to the coach-client relationship. Coaches can engage with and guide anyone, anywhere in the world. The content of the coaching will remain the same, but the mode of its delivery will change.

A combination of these two methods means that coaching can still be ‘fit for purpose’ and deliver high-quality, expert advice, whilst embracing the latest technological advances, work practices and approaches. This ensures that both client and coach reap the benefits of this 21st Century blend of coaching.

Speak to our team if you are in need of our services.

Something to prove

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What separates one candidate from another? When we’re looking to advance our careers and move onwards and/or upwards, we strive to make ourselves appear an ideal candidate for our new role. We can do this a number of ways – via contacts on LinkedIn or other social media, researching the business and sector, filling in application forms. But our main tool in this is our CV. How it is written, how it is presented, is crucial from differentiating us from other candidates. But it is just words and qualifications. How can we prove beyond that, that we are the ideal candidate for the role?

Spot the difference

It’s interesting when you look at two comparable candidates on paper. You’re up for a role against someone who has exactly the same qualifications and experience as you for a single job. How do you make yourself appealing, so that the interviewer or manager can make a judgement call in your favour? How do you prove yourself when the margins are tight? Connections online that align with the new firm are a good indicator that you’d be a good fit with the company – online business platforms such as LinkedIn or local business groups or forums can help with this. But when it comes to any kind of in-person contact with your prospective employers, you have to make an impression. It’s somehow proving what you’ve achieved against that job description, rather than simply carrying out the requirements of a job description.  You have to be able to demonstrate the value you add to an organisation, which is usually about the bottom line – how will the organisation become more successful, and therefore increase their profits, as a result of hiring you?

Proving yourself

You can demonstrate this in a CV to a certain extent – think of our recent blog where we talked about using STAR to show how we overcame challenges in practical situations. But part of this too is the added value, the over-and-above bonus you can bring to the company, its team and ethos. Take the example of a marketing manager. The job description may include such elements as developing strategy, writing and posting social media posts, writing and issuing press releases, conducting interviews, creating web copy or physical literature, such as fliers or brochures. But the remit is cast much further than that – to include personal communication skills, the day-to-day operation of the business, managing staff, managing clients, and having a deep and plausible knowledge of a number of sectors. It’s not just getting a marketing degree and some work experience writing copy.

If you’re able to demonstrate and prove your value to the business in more ways than your CV, then you’re more than halfway there. There are additional elements, such as how you present yourself visually, your personability, posture and manner, that will also feed into your business persona. But as long as the interviewers like you and feel that you would be a good fit in their organisation, you’ve got the job!

Speak to our team if you are in need of our services.

The genuine article – authenticity

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It is often the case that we behave and interact slightly differently to our ‘normal’ selves with colleagues at work. This is not that unusual, as often we don’t know our work colleagues as well as we do our friends. It’s a bit like having a ‘telephone voice’. It’s you, but a bit more well-spoken. Perhaps this has now been supplanted by having a ‘Zoom’ or ‘Teams’ manner – how you behave when you’re using an online meetings platform. However, authenticity is a very important part of your working life and your work persona shouldn’t be forced or ‘an act’. When it comes to business relationships, the name of the game is authenticity.

Being true to you

I always deem authenticity to be particularly important when taking part in job interviews. It’s a word that has been in the dictionary for centuries, but authenticity is being used more and more in relation to how people should present themselves to others. Being your authentic self means trying not to mould yourself to meet other people’s expectations, which we can often try and do when attending a job interview, for example.  If we don’t present ourselves according to our skills and personality, it could be that we become a wrong fit in the company, which wouldn’t be beneficial to anyone. It’s entirely counterproductive to secure a position at a firm by convincing them you’re the ideal candidate for the job, when in your heart you know that’s not the case.

A balancing act

Think about how you present yourself, your ‘public persona’ if you like. Many people feel the need to ‘conform’, to be very much part of the mould, to meet others’ expectations. And some people are scared to be seen as too different. But one person’s ‘different’ is to another person an innovator. In an interview situation, it’s a balancing act between being yourself and ensuring your potential employers like what they see – without trying to be someone else. Speak well, clearly and concise, but don’t overdo it, by overenunciating words, or using terminology or jargon that you wouldn’t normally use in conversation – you’ll only get caught out, when you don’t know what they mean.

Be the best you are

In an interview situation, there’s a big difference between being confident and being overconfident. Importantly, if you have pre-rehearsed a couple of answers, don’t make them sound too trite. Retain a natural delivery and not speak as though you’re trotting out an opinion, parrot-fashion. Retain what makes you ‘you’, and play to your strengths. If you feel you are the kind of person who is a little shyer and more reserved, then it helps to have some practiced responses to stock questions you may be asked. This will give you confidence and in its own way allow you to be more yourself in the interview, despite your nerves. Authenticity is something that is impossible to fake however and people will know if someone is being insincere, or even misleading. Being yourself means that an interviewer can assess your personality fit for their culture as well as you being able to assess them. That is, as long as they’re being authentic with you too, of course!

Speak to our team if you are in need of our services.