Creativity to Explore a Career Change

We are creative beings. Creativity is at the core of our very nature. For millennia, humans have been inventive and innovative in the way that we live and work. We have evolved exponentially in the last few decades. For some of us, the explorer within was restricted due to our parents wish to protect us which may have inhibited our self-exploration. Our very core can sometimes create a deep inner desire, which we may not immediately understand, to reroute our career. Identifying this protective boundary can be the first step to our breakthrough, and exploring unknown territory to our creative self.

At times in our lives, we may find ourselves at a crossroads in our career. We may feel that there is a deeper search within for something that is at that time unknown. It is only when we ‘test the water’; step out in faith and dare to explore, that we can discover other opportunities available to us which can enrich our lives. To follow such a path requires inner strength and determination to follow it through. The search can also benefit from much creativity on our part.

Techniques that can help with the journey of exploration:

  1. Quiet the mind; find peace; allow the mind to search and the answer may come. This can be achieved by practicing a mediation process that works for us. It can be as simple as doing some breathing techniques at the start of the day or taking a walk in nature.
  2. Ask family and friends for feedback and insights on new work opportunities that we may not have explored yet.
  3. Improve or develop networking connections that will help us such as signing up with a recruitment agency. This can open the door to new jobs and provide insights on areas to up-skill.
  4. Experiment with new-found ideas for a career change. One way to identify if it is right for us is to volunteer in a similar role with a local organisation or charity.
  5. Create a vision-board to help start the process and bring it all together. This will take time, so be patient with the process.
  6. Set goals to avoid becoming stuck in the process.
  7. Identify and implement healthy values that can become part of the metamorphosis.

Do more in your life than just merely exist, explore and have some fun on the journey!” – 3Q Perms & Temps. Remember to experiment and take the opportunity to learn while exploring. Enjoy the process of being creative on the journey of self-discovery; it just might lead to a better and more creative life!

Create and Sustain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

CREATE AND SUSTAIN A HEALTHY WORK-LIFE BALANCE

Have you ever wondered how successful people sustain focus in an ever-demanding work life? Well, one suggestion is to apply a holistic approach to achieving excellence in work-life balance. This approach can begin by separating the two elements, work and personal life, and then integrate them together to work as an all-inclusive plan.

Create and Sustain a Healthy Work - Life Balance

Image by Ralf Kunze from Pixabay

Firstly, plan a schedule for the work part of life. Secondly, plan a schedule for the personal elements of life including family, friends, hobbies, etc. Review both schedules to identify if the plan is manageable and achievable. At times the plan may need to be flexible to adapt to unforeseen changes. Allow for this, particularly if it is a constructive change. Effective time-management and organisational skills are vital to help with achieving optimised results. Finding a job that we are passionate about and enjoy can also help with the process of being motivated. Other tips include:

  • – Eliminate work commitments to a minimum, after 6pm. Having a plan in place to commit to our personal life is equally important.
  • – Don’t put off today, what can be done today. Procrastination is our biggest enemy in completing a weekly plan. It can add to next weeks ‘to-do’ list and ultimately heighten stress levels.
  • – Focus on close personal interests, family, friends, hobbies, etc., and remain aware of how important these connections, with people and activities, are to sustain a healthy way of living.
  • – Create time for a ‘me-date’ each week. Plan time for a trip to the spa, shops, gym, etc. It is important to reconnect with self. To paraphrase the famous airline statement: ‘first you have to take care of yourself, so that you can take care of everyone and everything else’.
  • – Accept any support offered from close networks of family and friends. We all need someone who has our best interests at heart and who has got our back, especially when we need it the most. Also understanding the importance of an equal measure of give-and-take in any relationship is crucial to maintain a healthy relationship.
  • – Learn to say ‘no’ sometimes. This can be achieved by delegating tasks.
  • – Manage personal finances, so that they don’t consume our thoughts which might lead us to become unduly stressed. Set a budget in place for known bills and a contingency budget for unforeseen events can help the process.

At the end of each week, it is important to take time and reflect back on all achievements. Identify areas that can be improved to create and sustain a healthy balance.

Think ‘outside the box’; switch each weeks schedule up a little, to add more spice and variety. Become innovative in the process. Learn to work clever and become more productive in both career and personal life for a more optimised work-life balance. Have a little fun along the way, with the new plan, to achieve more productivity in life. Enjoy the increased free time that the new plan has achieved by doing things that you love.

For more tips click here for Forbes insight.

Hope: From a Seemingly Lifeless Situation to a Glorious Resurrection

Hope: From a Seemingly Lifeless Situation to a Glorious Resurrection

Hope: Have you ever bought a plant, forgot to water it for a couple of weeks, and thought it was dead only for it to come back to life again once watered? As if it was just waiting, taking a break from growing, to resurrect again in full bloom. The growth seemed to happen overnight, well maybe a couple of days. The point is the plant may have been neglected but when attention was again given to it, and the time was right, it got back into living again.

Hope

Well, sometimes it can be the same in our career life. It’s as if on the surface there seems to be no hope or development at all. We may witness a drought season that leaves us with a feeling of frustration, resulting in a lack of motivation. It can also lead us to question why our career has stagnated. Even though we are quietly doing the necessary ground work in our job; operations, achieving KPI’s etc., we may not have added ‘water’ in a while to the development of skills, the expression of interest or application for promotion, or looked at roles outside our firm for career progression.  

If life seems to be a bit tough at the moment and not providing the much needed breakthroughs, ‘stay the course’ and take some time for reflection and questioning.  The answer will come, at the right time, particularly if the right questions are being asked and there is a focus on growth and personal development. Recalling similar past experiences can challenge the feeling of stagnation. This is true when we acknowledge the growth in our career to-date, which can motivate us to know that we will again. Life changing moments can happen overnight and can reignite our motivation to push forward. A new opportunity may be on the way to reignite our hope, much sooner than we think. It’s at times like this that we need to invest in self-development, seek the right kinds of support and relearn the art of patience, while holding onto our precious dream.

Staff Party: Planning a Christmas Party?

Staff Party: Planning a Christmas Party?

Christmas is a time for celebrating with colleagues and can be a perfect opportunity to organise a Christmas staff party. However, many organisations have eliminated the traditional style staff party, which may have included all expenses paid meal and drinks, and opted for a more tailored approach to celebrating their team and the year of business that has been.  

Realising that the Christmas party can be a great way to connect with co-workers in a non-related work setting is important to boost morale throughout the year. The event can be an opportunity to positively influence the working environment and strengthen bonds between all departments. The party itself does not have to be exorbitantly expense. What is important is that colleagues celebrate together in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. This can create an opportunity to become innovative in creating a celebratory social activity to appreciate the year that was.

There are many options to create a low-cost Christmas staff party, including:

  • –  Host a Kris Kingle party after lunch or at the end of the working day, where each employee draws a name out of a hat. Each selected name is then not shared with their colleagues until they gift the present at the event. This reduces costs for each worker and creates a sense of excitement. The amount to be spent on each present can be pre-set at a nominal cost, collectively.
  • –  Host a lucky-dip present event at the party. This involves each employee purchasing a gift and putting it into a hamper. Then each staff member selects their present from the lucky dip basket. Where there is an uneven balance of gender, people can buy a generic present such as a restaurant gift voucher or chocolate and wine hamper.
  • –  Extend the lunch time with a meal at a local restaurant, where the organisation can secure a reduced rate for a large party gathering.
  • –  Organise an in-house lunch or evening meal at the company, provided by local caterers. The food can include a buffet that will suit all preferences. This can be combined with awarding an ‘Employee of the Year’ award to the lucky recipient.
  • –  Set-up an annual Christmas Fund, where each employee contributes a small amount weekly. This can offset the expense at an already expensive time of the year, particularly for employees that have family with young children. The funds can contribute to the expense of an overnight break, which can incorporate an evening meal and activities.

Organisations can implement activities into the Christmas party to strengthen the relationships between all employees and management, through team-building events. These can include:

(1) 1.  Outdoor activities: Bowling, paint-balling, spa dates, etc.

(2) 2.  In-house activities: Charades, twister, card games, karaoke, etc.

Once the ideas have been established, putting a vote system in place, via email or a notice board, to choose the activity can empower employees in the decision making process. This may be important in getting all employees on-board to participate in the event.

Although there may be varied costs for management to organise a staff party, the result can be a happier work-place. This strategy can reinforce the work-bond for the year ahead. A happier work environment can result in increased productivity, less absenteeism and improved collaboration between all personnel.

Career: The Benefits of Partnering With a Recruitment Agency

Career: The Benefits of Partnering With a Recruitment Agency

Want to know what a Recruitment Agency can do for your future career? Searching for the right job can be a headache for most us, consuming lots of hours over a laptop and many cups of coffee. Employing a Recruitment Agency can help make the process a lot smoother – if they have jobs in the sector being sought. They can provide a personal touch while searching for a new job and valid insights into what experience and skills are required in potential new position. Remember an agency can only help if the talent, experience and career match the job sector the agency works in and has advertised jobs in.

We have listed some of the benefits that a Recruitment Agency can provide, which include:
  • –  Revision of a CV can highlight experience that aligns with the job advertisement.
  • –  Discuss the pros and cons of a role relevant to an ideal career move.
  • –  Match the right potential candidate to each job specification.
  • –  Improve the chance of securing a potential interview.
  • –  Provide information on updated job recruitment adverts.
  • –  Support each client’s journey with friendly, personal and knowledgeable advice.
  • –  Offer recommendations to employers on the clients past history with the agency, of course with prior consent.
  • –  Suggest advice on the know-how of acing the interview – many will offer mock interview and provide feedback on how to best answer tough interview questions.
  • –  Recruitment Agencies have a direct link to the decision makers of potential employers, the HR department. The agency is in a good position to know exactly what they are looking for in a potential candidate, prior to the interview selection process.
  • –  If successful at interview the Recruiter can negotiate final terms with the new employer – which can be daunting for many potential interviewees.

It’s not really a surprise for us to recommend the use of a niche recruitment agency – a recruiter who works in the specific area, to progress a career. They will have a network of clients and contacts that may be looking for specific skills-set.  The representative body for Recruitment Agencies in Ireland is called the National Recruitment Federation and their website www.nrf.ie lists agencies by their area of specialist recruitment.

Career: Finding Our True Purpose in Career Life

Career: Finding Our True Purpose in Career Life

Have you ever questioned your career and wondered what am I doing here? It may have been great in the early days and life was great. The challenge of adapting to a new career was exciting and the wages were good. It allowed for independent living and the chance to pay for our own way in life. Maybe we discovered when we had well settled into our role that the career path we were on was less than fulfilling, leaving us going through the motions in our job. Maybe now it’s time to start asking “Is this what I really want in my career?”

Maybe we compared ourselves to others in their career lives? Have these comparisons left us with a feeling of inadequacy and discontent? Finding our true-north is tougher than we think. Some of us travel our whole lives, never really feeling that we have found our true vocation or purpose, but the enquiry can still bring us joy and satisfaction.

Having asked the question; what’s my true purpose in life, can open a door that may instigate change. We may be fearful to open this door, as it may actually be an opportunity for a career change, which we can thrive in. We may realise that it is very different from the one our parents wished for us or our younger selves settled for.

The solution can be as simple as looking to inspirational role-models. They may be famous people or people we admire closer to home. What is it about them that inspire us? There may be a clue from these insights that can lead us to start exploring our true life’s purpose. For some the ‘eureka-moment’ can be rapid, almost overnight. For others, it can be a slow arduous task to discover their true purpose, but so worth it in the end if they are persistent.

Maybe our role model includes an Irish chef, Nevin Maguire or Rachel Allen. We find ourselves coming home from work and our first go-to television program is their show. Then we find ourselves getting creative in the kitchen, cooking up a dish that Nevin or Rachel would love to taste, if only they were here!

Just maybe, the penny drops and we realise that cooking is in our veins. We truly see that we were passionate all along, always talking about new recipe ideas or inviting friends over for dinner to try out our new cuisine. We may realise that we were already living out our true purpose in our personal lives. Then, the next day we may find that life throws us an opportunity. We get an email from a friend we haven’t been in contact for ages, telling us that a new cookery course is starting in the nearby college in two weeks. We wonder is life showing us a sign. We may get excited or fear may creep into our minds. We ask “What if …?” or “What will my boss say?”  Well, we won’t actually know unless we pluck up the courage and give it a chance. At the very least, we owe it to ourselves.

Taking that first step, as if ‘walking on water’ with an act of faith, can grant us a deeper knowledge whether this career is for us or not. The change can terrify us, but it can also reward us. Some people go through their career journey never finding their true purpose. There are plenty of supportive professional networks that can help to brainstorm, in search for the right change in our lives. We may also have the support of family and friends that can offer their advice. All we need to do is become open to the idea, explore by asking lots of questions, be patient and trust the process.

Wellbeing: Can the Task of Doing Nothing Replenish Your Soul?

Wellbeing: Can the Task of Doing Nothing Replenish Your Soul?

Did you ever take a holiday and truly get away from the demands of a busy career? Wellbeing is important to our overall health and soul. Have we learned to keep busy almost 24/7, while not getting enough sleep or sat down with time to just be. Just be bored. Have no plan or action to consume our precious time, with ourselves and our family. Realising the importance of really charging our worn-out batteries is vital to restore our relationship with self and those we love. It can also result in reigniting the appreciation of our job and allow us to get motivated again.

It is probably true that we need to make a plan to just do nothing, to take me-time and family-time, and just admire the simple blessings in life. To surround ourselves with nature, good hearty food, plenty of blissfully boring free time and ‘Be’ in the present moment. The importance of self-awareness in looking after ourselves, our health and mental wellbeing, and our family cannot be over emphasised. Bringing it basic to basics and saying ‘no’ to unnecessary demands can help us see the wood for the trees.

Finding clarity on solutions that work for our new-found lifestyle and understanding that time goes so fast can create a fuller life. Recall hearing friends or family say that time goes so fast, or where did the year go?

Imagine booking a holiday where there are lots of non-technology activities to do, with no signal for wifi, to tempt anyone away from the joy of truly being present? Like taking a bike ride, going for a swim, eating lunch down on the promenade, fishing or water sports.  There may be a bit of questioning by others around us as to the changes we make but wouldn’t it be so worth it to truly connect and have some good old fashioned fun on our new journey? 

To truly enjoy life, we have got to look after our welbeing – the rest of the demands made of us and of our time can then be made easier to handle. Change isn’t easy for the best of us at first, but once we start to see its benefits we can come to the realisation that our new way of being may not be so bad after all. Plan for the boring days or holiday away from the busyness of life and say no to distractions during these personal moments. Release the guilt and start to recharge the soul to live a really good life and optimise performance in our career and personal life. Start to find true happiness in life and the rewards will be many, and might even include some unexpected rewards, such as a simple hug.

How to Be More Productive in Your Job

HOW TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE IN YOUR JOB

Would you like to commit to accomplishing more in less time, in your job and your career? Many of us feel that our productivity in our jobs can be great some weeks, and a disaster at other times. When we evaluate why, we may realise that we go about our tasks without any strategy. Strategies can help us create effective management of tasks or time.

How to Be More Productive in Your Job Three Q Recruitment

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

These 6 simple techniques can help with becoming motivated to be more productive in any job. They can also reduce the ever increasing ‘to do’ list, more efficiently.

  1. 1.  Plan, plan, plan. Forward planning can reduce the time required to achieve each task. Manage the daily/weekly schedule by documenting a plan for the day/week ahead. List:

  • (1)  What needs to be achieved?
  • (2)  How it is going to be achieved?
  • (3)  When it’s going to be completed? Set a deadline, for faster action to achieve each goal
  1. 2.  Organise tasks for greater efficiency, by prioritising the most important ones first.

  • –  Plan a step by step process for each task, while maintaining quality throughout. For more difficult tasks, it is helpful to visualise this process.
  • –  Time-block the entire working day. This may also be helpful in our personal life, including evening and weekend activities.
  • –  Eliminate the potential for wasted energy and time on less important tasks, by delegating tasks and reducing unnecessary distractions.
  • –  Take on the biggest tasks at the start of the day, when energy levels are typically higher to achieve higher productivity.
  • –  The dreaded word ‘deadlines’ can cause anxiety. Setting achievable time limits can significantly reduce procrastination with starting and/or completing tasks, and ultimately lessen stress.
  • –  Change the dynamic of how work is taken on by grouping interesting and uninteresting tasks together. This can help to reduce the monotony associated with less mundane jobs.
  1. 3.  Maintain focus. Distraction can be our biggest challenge.

  • –  Intentionally stay alert and commit to focus on the task at hand.
  • –  Ensure that a frequent check-in with the planned schedule throughout the day is completed to ensure that tasks stay on track. This helps with achieving greater productive output, efficiently.
  • –  Good self-care including diet and exercise can help enormously with maintaining focus.
  • –  Stay motivated and reap the rewards.

4. Curb stress levels by taking a short break between daily tasks.

Go for a brisk walk around the building to refresh the mind and stretch the body. This simple technique can easily refocus the mind.

5.  Finally, review each week.

  • Evaluate areas where there is room for improvement … there is always room for improvement. For example, eliminate unnecessary distractions. Turn off mobile phones while scanning through emails and daily ‘to do’ lists first thing in the morning. This can assist with maintaining a healthy focus and can increase productivity in the day by accomplishing more jobs in less time.

Don’t just work hard, plan astutely to achieve more each day. It’s amazing how quickly the ‘to do’ list can diminish, with a lot of clever planning and persistence. Achieving increased productivity can provide real satisfaction, and can significantly increase motivation levels. Remember to commit, focus, persevere, stay motivated, and evaluate all work daily for more effective and successful results in job productivity, in our career and personal life.

For a simple way to start, check out quick tips for productivity by clicking here.  

Typical Questions Asked During an Interview

Typical Questions Asked During an Interview

The thought of accepting a HR call for interview on any recent job application can be a little daunting for the vast majority of people. Whether starting out on a new career, changing employer or returning to work after a lengthy time away can leave one with a feeling of apprehension.

The first step to making a good impression in the interview is good preparation. Researching a list of potential questions that the interviewee may ask can be beneficial to helping with responding confidently during the interview. Providing solid answers to potential questions, with relevant examples in previous experiences, can provide real insight into the required personality type for the role. The answers can also demonstrate the abilities and experiences that have been acquired to date.

There is a vast amount of information online. Search Google for standard interview questions and also how to frame answers.  Some companies use competency based interview questions, which ask questions about specific competencies being sought in the advertised job. 

Potential questions that can be asked in an interview may include:

  • –  Why did you apply for this job?
  • –  What do you know about this company?
  • –  Where do you see yourself in two to three years?
  • –  Describe yourself?
  • –  What has been your biggest achievement to date?
  • –  What are some of your key strengths and weaknesses? When listing a weakness, always turn it around by offering it as a recent experience. For example, if confidence levels are not their best when giving presentations. This answer could be backed up by saying that increasing self-development is part of a one year personal plan to improve confidence levels, by taking a course in presentation skills.
  • –  Do you work best on your own or in a team environment?
  • –  If there are any gaps in the curriculum vitae, interviewees may ask why. Provide them with an honest answer, whether it was raising family, undertaking a course, etc.
  • –  How would your colleagues describe you?
  • –  How do you deal with criticism?
  • –  Why should we give you this job?

Prior to the interview it can be helpful to do some deep breathing. This can be refreshing and grounding before entering the meeting. Also, browse over the curriculum vitae to memorise specific details, including dates. Remember to hydrate and eat a light snack, even if the nerves are playing havoc.

During the interview it is important to answer all questions with honesty and clarity. If unsure about the question being asked, it is appropriate to ask for a little clarity. Maintain a friendly manner, good posture and good eye-contact with each interviewee throughout the interview.

Finally, when the interview concludes, thank each interviewee for the opportunity of the interview with a firm handshake. Leave the building following the meeting, don’t hang around. Check personal correspondence daily to ensure that replies to potential notifications are prompt, and hopefully allow enough time to prepare for the interview.

How to Prepare for an Interview

How to Prepare for an Interview

Preparation for a job interview can unnerve almost anyone. The thought of it is worse than actually doing it. It can cause a sleepless night before the meeting. Preparation is important to help overcome any feelings of anxiousness. Many people find that once the meeting begins, the nerves calm and the brain refocuses again to give a good performance.

These simple tips can help to achieve a greater level of ease and confidence to undertake any interview:

  • –  Research the organisation, including their products/services, staff, history, etc.
  • –  Know the job specification in detail. Fully understand what each requirement entails.
  • –  Interview questions will ask about experience relevant to the role details in the job advertisement – so prepare some examples of how skills were put into practice.
  • –  Use a framework such as ‘STAR’, which can help to answer questions the following questions. What was the Situation? What was the Task being presented? What Actions were undertaken? What Results were achieved?
  • –  Practice a trial interview with a close colleague. Ask them for their constructive and honest feedback, particularly on communication skills, posture and appearance.
  • –  Plan an appropriate outfit for the meeting. Visualise being dressed for the role.
  • –  Prepare examples of past experiences, relevant to the role, including answers that highlight key strengths and weaknesses.
  • –  Keep answers brief and relevant to the questions, don’t ramble.
  • –  Delete any social media content that may damage the application. HR professional can browse online to find out more personal details.
  • –  Research frequently asked questions in an interview, relevant for the job.
  • –  Plan the route at least the day before the interview. Know where the car-park is and where the location of the interview is within the building. This will ease further stress, and ensure that there is time to relax and breathe before for the meeting.

Show the panel of interviewees plenty of interest and motivation toward the potential new role, and personal commitment to continuous learning on the job by being prepared. First impressions count, so make a strong start and even stronger finish.