Getting on with it

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Meeting etiquette can always be difficult to get right.  And since the pandemic, it’s one that is beginning to become much more normal again. In person meetings in particular are making a comeback, but many people have embraced remote meetings as the way forward. However, wherever the meeting takes place, we are converging to discuss business matters, there are a few things we should all bear in mind.

Better late than never?

People turning up late – is it acceptable or not?  I worked in an organisation where all the really interesting discussion points were held at the beginning of a meeting, so that you missed out if you arrived late.  It’s important to have a roughed-out agenda, so any late attendees can see what was discussed, but unless you have a valid excuse, lateness for meetings is usually seen as being rude.  Interestingly, people are less tolerant of people being late on virtual meetings – why would you be five minutes late, when you only have to connect through your computer? That said, virtual or in person, we’ve all run into traffic – vehicular or internet – and sometimes internet speeds can cause havoc at the very moment you want them to deliver the broadband performance you’re paying for.

Constantly on-call

Phones and things – is it acceptable to leave your phone on during a meeting? Some people do and we’ve all had attendees answering the phone with that poor excuse: “I’m in a meeting”. Just mute the ringtone and allow them to leave a message. However, if the people in the meeting are aware you may need to take a call, it won’t come across as rude. Tip them off beforehand and this should work. It’s actually worse in an online meeting if this happens. Just ignore it and ring them back after the meeting has finished. Meetings have their own ebb and flow, and any interruptions can disrupt this. It can also disrupt trains of thought and natural development of discussions, and a phone ringing can bring this to a halt, and it’s difficult to pick up where you left off afterwards

Focus on the matter

As a rule of thumb, I always put my phone on silent and upside down so it doesn’t distract me at all.  I’m not able to see any incoming emails from my one screen, so I’m not tempted to look at something else. This allows me to concentrate and focus on the meeting and its attendees. If a meeting has a reason, there shouldn’t be any circumstances to become distracted from it, unless it’s highlighted and acknowledged by the rest of the participants. You can take part in meetings from any location these days, which can be hugely beneficial – especially over the summer months. But remember, if you are on holiday when you are taking part in the meeting, move any cocktails out of camera shot.



No back-to-school blues as Career Evolution becomes a teenager

The summer holidays may be over, but with the sun out and a mini heatwave in progress, what better way is there to mark the return to school and Career Evolution’s 13th birthday, than with new stationery, like a brand-new notepad?

Make a note

It can be easy to forget just how much you have achieved in your working life. Things that to you might just seem like ‘business as usual’, might in fact be considered a huge achievement by others. By keeping a note of what you have done, as you go along, will mean that when you are called upon to list out your achievements – whether its for your CV or in an interview – you will have all the key points identified, and with dates too.

Sue Thomas, director at Career Evolution explains: “I find that by keeping a notepad where I track all my achievements – big and small – means that I have one place to look when I am trying to remember what I achieved and when. This can be particularly helpful if you have to demonstrate continuous professional development (CPD) activity each year. Marking down dates and titles of training courses, webinars, conferences and seminars that you have attended, will go a long way towards the hours of training and development that you need to track annually. It can also be used to record achievements, changes in responsibilities and promotions. It is also a good place to save the outcomes of appraisals and review meetings too.

Time to celebrate

“I have done this for a long time, and as the business celebrates its 13th year, it is fascinating to look back at some of the achievements that I have recorded over the years. From my first client success to bringing on board the first of my career Coaches and Consultants. They are all important and a good demonstration of how far I have come.”

To find out more about Career Evolution, visit


Why use outplacement when there is a skills gap?

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There is a lot of conversation about a skills shortage across many sectors and job roles at the moment, which surely means that the power is currently in the hands of the job seeker rather than the recruiter. However, despite this, some employers are still sourcing out placement for individuals, even when the skills the individual has are very marketable, and there should be no issue in them securing a new role. This raises the question of why invest in outplacement services in the existing employment landscape?

Not ‘one size fits all’

Outplacement is not a linear process. There are many stages of outplacement, which will come in a different order for each individual depending on their personal circumstances. The main areas include identifying the options, preparing a CV, updating LinkedIn and putting a strategy in place, followed by interview training and check-ins. Outplacement can help an individual make sense of what needs doing, in what order, without it becoming overwhelming.

Turning the process upside down

Ensuring that a client is ready to get the next right job, can turn the linear process upside down. Some individuals will need to start with interview training rather than preparing a CV, if they end up with job interviews lined up, potentially even before their official leaving date. This can happen through word of mouth or if they have utilised their network effectively.

Making good decisions

Regardless of the order they approach their search for a new role, it can be a stressful time, and an outplacement Consultant can help make sure that the individual makes good decisions.  Whatever the outcome – and it’s great when a client gets the right job quickly – the individual still needs to take the time to record their achievements and substantiate them. In other words, make sure that their CV and LinkedIn profile is up to date.

Time to check-in

Securing a new role quickly has lots of benefits for the individual. Not only does it give them peace of mind and a clear direction, but it also provides the outplacement Consultant with the opportunity to check in with them during the first few months, to ensure that they are happy with their decision and help them assess if they need to try and change anything about their new role.  Outplacement is rarely wasted as a resource and continues to give good internal and external PR to the companies who commission it.

For further information, visit Career Evolution.

The problem with too much choice


Believe it or not, having more than one job offer on the table can be a very real cause of stress and anxiety. The pressure of having to choose and not knowing if you have made the best decision for your future career and happiness can be a little overwhelming. Obviously, I hesitate to say this to new outplacement clients, as at the time of redundancy, having choice about your next career move sounds like utopia.

Make a list

One of the things I do with new outplacement clients quite early on, is work with them to identify what is important to them in their next role.  The checklist covers all sorts of things, from type of role, sector, company size, possibility of progression, culture, working away from home, international travel and hybrid working. That’s before we have even started to consider salary and benefits. I also get them to think about their answers, and which of these are non-negotiable, and which are really only ‘nice to haves’.  This checklist is important initially to help them work out what they want to apply for, but actually, at the point of receiving a job offer – or even multiple job offers – this list really comes into its own.

Jobs are like buses?

Just like the saying about waiting for a bus, and two come at once, it is very likely the same thing could be said for job offers. It isn’t that surprising, as a client will have been following up on more than one opportunity at a time, so there is a fairly good chance that more than one offer will come through. What is difficult, is then balancing a definite offer, but maybe one that has some downsides, with one that is yet to be made. This is where the benefits of the checklist become apparent.

By revisiting and working through the checklist, my clients can then work out if the opportunity that is on the table meets all the non-negotiables on their list. If it doesn’t, they might decide to hold their nerve and see if something better comes along.

Seek advice

The benefit of working with an outplacement Consultant, is that you have someone experienced to talk it through with. The decision is ultimately yours, but your outplacement Consultant will  help you structure your thoughts and identify the pros and cons of each role. They can also advise you on how to speak to recruiters or the companies themselves, to ensure you keep your integrity and professional brand.

For further information, visit Career Evolution

Welcome to our new vlog!


Welcome to the latest vlog from Career Evolution!

We are continuing to share weekly advice and updates from the industry on outplacement, career management, and coaching.

In our latest vlog, our director, Sue Thomas, talks about her hybrid holiday and how she makes it work for her and her clients.

Watch the video below:


The importance of employee engagement

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According to Gallup’s recent annual report, State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report, there is a ‘global rise in employees who are thriving at work, even as worker stress remains at a record high’. However, it also reports that, although employee engagement is rising, the majority of the world’s workers are still quiet quitting. There is an estimated 59% of employees falling into this category. Something needs to be done to address this, as in today’s environment of skills shortages, retention is generally better than recruitment.

What is quiet quitting?

Quiet quitters are your employees that are showing up for work physically but are not actually engaged with their role or the company that they are working for. Their feelings of disconnection with the business are more likely to lead to burn out and stress than more engaged employees, despite their productivity being much lower.

How do you reengage the quiet quitters?

As you well know, your investment into retaining your existing staff is money much better spent than in recruiting new team members. But do you know what things are most important to your team?   One area which needs to be considered is how your team is managed. This is particularly important if some, or all, of your team are working remotely or in a hybrid arrangement. Each member of your team needs the same level of appreciation, collaboration and support.

Culture, pay and wellbeing

Within the report, the three areas that employees are keen to see addressed are those of culture (or engagement), pay and wellbeing. While pay may be harder to address in the current climate, it is vital that you get the other two areas right. These can be as easy as ensuring that simple measures, such as regular meetings and encouraging people to move around more during the working day are in place, through to more structured culture and wellbeing programmes.  Key members of your team might also benefit from the introduction of coaching or other training programmes.

If you would like to discuss these opportunities, contact Career Evolution or visit the website today to find out how this could make a difference within your workplace.

Leaving a positive impression

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When an employee leaves a role, it’s a big change for everyone – both for the employee themselves and their employer. For the employee, if it is something they haven’t planned, then it will be outplacement that will help to ease the process. For the employer, it might be that the change has been forced upon them and they want to handle the situation as sympathetically and smoothly as possible. Although the change might not be something either party wants, it needs to be a favourable outcome for both of them.

Positive steps

Outplacement plays in important part in supporting people leaving a role, providing them with a positive experience of something that can feel quite negative. In this way, even someone leaving a role that they didn’t necessarily want to can still feel positive about the company. They will be able to provide positive references about the business in the future. If the decision has not been the individual’s personal choice, it can take some reconciling in their own mind. If you leave with unresolved differences and issues, then it’s very difficult to view a former employer in a positive light. However, outplacement and talking to professionals who can offer tangible solutions, is a way of taking positive steps in the right direction.

 Impacts of change

I’ve talked a lot in the past about the emotional impacts of change and how these can affect our personal and working lives. A change in one part of our lives often has a knock-on effect elsewhere. A major change at home can disrupt working lives, and equally a change at work can disrupt all aspects of our personal lives. This can be especially true if your job and working arrangements are finely balanced around wider commitments, for example caring for young children or elderly parents. It’s important not to allow your sense of direction during such transitionary periods to veer off track.

Building resilience

At Career Evolution, we can help employees move to a more positive place mentally and our key objective is to get them back in control of their own situation and future. We also encourage building resilience in such times and talking to someone familiar with the impacts of change can help with that. Preparedness too, of such things as CVs and interview techniques, can help going forward. When someone looks back at their transition between jobs, it’s important not to dwell on the negative aspects, but look forward at the positive ways that change has impacted them.

If you would like to talk to someone about providing outplacement support, then please get in touch with us today.


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Welcome to the latest vlog from Career Evolution!

We are continuing to share weekly advice and updates from the industry on outplacement, career management, and coaching.

In our latest vlog, our director, Sue Thomas, rounds up some of our posts from June, including the number of names in her role as an outplacement consultant and supporting her son through LinkedIn connections.

Watch the video below:

Your authentic self

When we are thinking about how to present ourselves, we sometimes try to build a work persona. This can be highlighted when we have to present ourselves to people we’ve never met before, for example in an in-person job interview situation, or when working as part of a team. One thing you should not forget is the importance of authenticity and being genuine. Should you create a ‘work persona’ or should you simply be yourself?

Behavioural changes

I’ve written a lot about how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. Looking in from the outside, it’s easy to presume that everyone is genuine. However, is honing a ‘work persona’ being disingenuous, deceptive even? Many people can be different between their work selves and the private selves. Everyone’s behaviour changes slightly when they are being seen by others – of that much we are all aware. But to have an entirely different personality at work might start alarm bells ringing, in that someone might be deliberately trying to conceal aspects of their personality.

Social media has made everyone have to look at how they communicate with people in public forums. People often feel more comfortable ‘being themselves’ online and express opinions that would never be aired in the ‘real world’. Workplace analysis such as DISC profiling and other methods can reveal the ‘real person’ – the perceived discrepancy between how we think we see ourselves and how others do. As an employer or manager, it’s interesting to look at the results of such data, and of behaviour online, which can reveal personal aspects that may not otherwise be apparent.

An inclusive workplace

Likeability and authenticity are crucial in relationship building. It’s one of the most important aspects of the workplace. Not everyone in a team has to get on, but it helps if they do. Sometimes a bit of competitiveness, tension even, can make for greater creativity. But in the main you want genuinely likeable people who are personable, knowledgeable, friendly and approachable. Being open at work and talking about aspects of your life beyond the workplace can make you more approachable. It can help to establish common ground and common interests, which can lead to a shared empathy that can spill over into the workplace. People enjoy working with like-minded people and they will naturally be more productive and relaxed. This is a key aspect of relationship building and will help cement a workplace as an inclusive space with an atmosphere conducive to success.

Being likeable and genuine isn’t something a coach or mentor can teach you. However, it can often be a confidence thing – and confidence can be built up. By identifying areas where you feel confident about yourself – say, your communication skills or aptitude for organisational tasks – you can use these as building blocks to become a stronger, more defined personality. But most importantly, one that is still genuine and authentic.

What’s in a name?

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Many people put a lot of stock into job titles and descriptions, and over the years we have seen the introduction of some interesting – and sometimes surprising – new job titles, from Metaverse Storyteller, through to Adventure Coach and Chief Disruption Officer. The list of new and fascinating job titles is endless and limited only by imagination or a need for the particular role.

A rose by any other name?

As an outplacement Consultant, my role is fundamentally to help you find a new job. But it’s not just about writing or rewriting your CV, the relationship between Client and Consultant is critical to the success of the endeavour. Working with people, who are often faced with a situation they haven’t chosen, can sometimes be difficult. It is important that we take the time to get to know each other, and that they trust me. That way, I am able to challenge them, to really understand what they have achieved and what they want to do next.

Over the years, I’ve been called a number of names in my role, some more favourable than others! My favourites, which I feel sum up the part I play, are Critical Colleague, Thought Friend, My Guru, and possibly my all-time favourite, the Career Whisperer.

Getting to the heart of it

While being challenged can sometimes be uncomfortable, the ultimate outcome is usually impressive – and sometimes unexpected – and enables my clients to identify, find and secure their next position. It’s always been a delight to get positive feedback that recognises the benefits of removing the staccato mechanics of job search, to concentrate on ‘people liking people’, making good connections and getting great results.

If you would like to find out more about corporate outplacement, visit