Sounds like something a wise man once said doesn't it? A wise man may well have said it but so did I and I continue to say it to any career coaching client who I work with; experienced professional, graduate or school-leaver and I want to explain why these few words are so key to you getting what you want from your career.
Let's be clear I am not advocating saying anything in your CV or interview performance that is untrue, far from it, what I am encouraging is that we all learn to amplify our message to employers by being comfortable in saying positive, upbeat and impressive things about ourselves.
There is a particularly English / British tradition that modesty is a laudable quality, that to be loud and obvious is somehow crass and a little distasteful. I agree that clumsy and obvious self-promotion can be counter-productive and at worst annoying but that is not what I am advocating here; I am saying to everyone that is frustrated by being overlooked, a close second to the successful candidate or by the lack of progression in their career that you need to forget false or real modesty and begin to think about everything you say and write being part of an accumulated PR strategy that will help you to tell the world how brilliant you are!
It is not about dwelling on any of the descriptions that have been used to keep people in their place...it's not 'showing off', it's not 'being big headed' and is certainly not 'boastful' it is simply being your own biggest fan and being able to lucidly and convincingly tell the world about the great things you have done, can do and want to do.
People generally speaking love to meet authentic, confident, lucid and interesting people. Whether that is in the pub, on holiday, in work or in an interview. People remember people who are able to demonstrate their self-confidence and their skills with strong examples and body language, voice, eyes, smile and posture that all back up the content. It is liberating not to be always worried about what people think of how you are saying something when you come to terms with the fact that it is what you are saying that they will focus on.
If you fail to flag up something that is important and relevant because you don't want to show off then who wins? If the CV next to yours on the desk or the person after you in the interview is able to show what they can do and do it in a proud and confident and persuasive way then who wins?
Modesty is the enemy of opportunity - all candidates need for the sake of their own futures to be able to suspend their modesty and get the message across in no uncertain terms......
The title of this blog article is the best advice I can give any career seeking school leaver or graduate at the moment. Why? Because it works!
I know that the kind of jobs that you may be aspiring to and may have geared your education towards may not be thick on the ground at the moment and that getting a chance to be interviewed can often feel like constantly hitting the same brick wall but that does not mean that settling for second best and going off the radar of all employers is the way to deal with it. There are loads of cracking job and career opportunities out there but the candidates that get them are the ones who are prepared to do the leg work, build the relationships and get noticed...
Go to everything...
Look on-line, in printed media and through social media for every opportunity to get out into the world with a smile on your face, your best interview gear on and your CV in your pocket. The numbers game of on-line applications, posting your CV on one of the big sites or connecting with an agency is of course worth it because they might find you what you want. But I strongly encourage anyone, of any age, to get out there and find opportunity for themselves.
I am not of the Norman Tebbit school of 80's thought when he encouraged people to get on their bike and find work, patronising as it was, instead I am very much of the school of thought that you live, in person, being brilliant and smart and excited and interested is going to have a far greater chance of being spotted.
Why? Well despite many 'big' employers computerising their recruitment filters to the point of programming key words and qualifications into their selection programmes on-line; there are still vast numbers of employers, decision makers, recruiters and event organisers that understand about personal brand, making an impact, the personal touch and impressing someone with actions and words and not just qualifications and experience.
In my experience SME's particularly take great heed of their 'gut feel' for an individual candidate. Because every single one of their staff matters to them, as there are fewer, then meeting people is a way they still find their stars of tomorrow.
So prepared with a CV that does all of things I have spoken about at length in the past as 'the flier for the brand of you' (see previous blogs) and with a brave attitude to talking to anyone because as I have said in the past 'you never know who the person will be that gives you a break' you should get yourself along to everything that might lead somewhere; careers events, networking events, industry events, university and college events and national employment events at the big venues like the NEC.
Prepare your 'pitch', know what your USP's are and be ready to really sell yourself when you get the ear of someone who wants to listen and is interested in what you have to offer. As a recruiter of 20+ years standing from my point of view you being there already puts you in credit with me and then if you have a positive attitude, something to say and some energy and interest then you are really beginning to get my interest...
Speak to everyone...
Be that person who is interested in what every employer does, find out more, understand when you hear an opportunity that you like that you need to act and project the professional image that you want to promote going forwards; set yourself dress, speech and manners standards and let those things as well as your skills, knowledge and competencies be your message to employers...you will be saying 'I mean business!'
Networking is a very inexact science and actually the more you try and apply scientific methods to it a) the more mercenary you appear and b) the more you remove the random factor... but talking to people and asking questions and being open and honest about what you aspire to does work..
My two best job / career conversations? One was with a lovely Australian lady in a bar in Paris at Christmas time and the other was with a chap by the coffee machine during lunch at a careers event...you never know, who or when but you need to be there to benefit and to be on duty for your brand at all times to get the most from any good fortune.
I think it was Gary Player (the very good South African golfer for you Tiger Woods generation people) who said 'the more I practice the luckier I get' that's kind of my point in a nutshell!
With social media taking an increasingly important role in finding the right career move and in being found by employers the influence of recommendations and endorsements is becoming hugely significant.
I have always tried to be honest, immediate and generous with my comments about people that I have worked with, networked with, met informally and rated. Obviously it is easier if you have worked with someone for a period of time to write something very competency based and referenced into actual roles the person involved has performed. But in my experience quality and potential both shout loud when you know what to look for.
I am sure that the old adage of people buying from people applies here and that trusted, experienced and well known people in your chosen field are gold dust as recommendations. Why? Well two main reasons, first they know quality when they see it because they have experience of what it looks like, sounds like and starts out being like and second and perhaps even more importantly they will not associate their brand with an individual who will disappoint, fail to achieve or not live up to expectations.
So you are perhaps either starting out on your career or looking to gain an upward move or sector change; how do you reinforce what you have in terms of qualifications, attributes, competencies and skills in terms of underpinning recommendations / references from the right people? Themes I have talked about in past blogs about likeYou never know who the right person to network with is and Always being on duty for your brand are particularly relevant here. Always being at your best in networking, job or socially related situations gives those key people that you bump into along the way every reason to see the best in you and want to tell others about it. Being interesting and interested and memorable for the right reasons will all give you a fighting chance of leaving positive impressions however short the encounter.
Linked In is perhaps a prime example of where this is most relevant in terms of social media. The programme prompts your connections to either endorse you for a skill or experience as well as giving them an opportunity to recommend you. Recruiters (internal and external) increasingly use Linked In as a source of reassurance on candidates through the medium of these two sources of information to influence how they view you.
Not on Linked In? Well you need to sort that out pretty sharpish! The fact that you have a presence on the platform and most importantly keep the profile up to date and full of information says to potentially interested parties that you are serious about your career and that you know what it takes to get spotted. The absence of a profile when someone searches for you may even be the end of the search. With a growing number of connections comes increased chance of positive endorsements and recommendations and allows people like me to say good things about you. You also have the option of asking for recommendations..
I know that perhaps culturally this might feel a bit awkward. Asking someone to tell the world how brilliant you are feels wrong in some way..but if the rest of the world is doing it and gets results from it then you don't really have a choice in a competitive labour market do you? Obviously just as you might not connect with a complete stranger you should only ask those who you know will recall you, know enough to say good things and whose opinion carries weight.
That's why when you network you should always make a note of people that you have chatted to and connected with - you never know when you can leverage against that relationship. People who are in positions of responsibility, power, authority however you chose to describe them; are often incredibly generous with their recommendations. That is why when you leave education, employment or even a training event you should focus on who you should ask if they would mind offering a recommendation for you. Building relationships towards the gift of a recommendation is a skill of course and you need to have performed at a level that you would want others to know about but this stuff is important as it offers a rich back drop of reassuring opinion about you from people that the people making decisions about you will read, listen to and allow to inform their decision.
Marketing the brand of you is a multi layered task and the layer of recommendations is a key part in making sure that anyone you want to /need to impress can find opinion from others that under pins how fantastic you are!
Copyright Paul Goring 2014
It might feel weird to think about yourself as a brand but it is just about understanding what makes you unique and about developing an awareness of how the rest of the world experiences you.
A big pool of graduate talent competing for fewer jobs means that a 2:1 is no longer the passport to your dream job. Getting the edge involves understanding what recruiters look for (beyond the academic) and matching your
brand USP’s to the job by clearly demonstrating them in your CV and then talking about them lucidly at interview.
Where do you start? How about conducting a personal brand review; simply list your work, sporting and life experiences. What skills have you learned? What did you learn about yourself? Now link your findings to the
competencies that employers look for.
Now find words that you want others to associate with your brand. Do you use them in your CV; are you always authentically those things? Make sure they are not on the boring list of CV words like passionate, focused and good team player that everyone uses!
Understanding your unique brand takes time and effort but will get you results! But you need to start now!!
Ok so those of you that read this blog regularly will know by now that Employability is one of my main focus areas and a topic that can get me very pumped up...
The latest thing that caused me to get typing a(after thinking about the implications of what was said) was the following interaction with a parent of an A Level student..
I commented on the excellent predicted grades (A's and A*'s) that the student was possibly going to achieve and I then focused on the remainder of the CV passing comment on the inclusion of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme bronze award that had been achieved.
I asked why the student had decided to invest their time and energies into that process and was greeted with the reply 'Apparently uni's and graduate employers like to see that sort of thing...'
Well that's correct; yes they do but they like to see them for a reason and as an experienced graduate recruiter and careers coach myself that answer got me thinking about the crucial role of parents, how employability really works and whether we might have started to treat the process as a tick box exercise rather than respecting it as a genuine way to represent compencies, skills and experience beyond the academic.
The thing about Employability for me is that it can never be a tick box exercise because that simply defeats the object. It is not the doing of something that is important but instead it is the reasons for doing it and the skills and experience developed as a result of doing it that are important. I guess we need to ask whether we plan these things properly, whether we are trained and capable of reflective learning and also whether the whole concept of personal brand and employability is now being treated by parents and students as another hoop to jump through?
If you conciously decide to do something just because you think it looks good on your CV and because others do it without ever really grasping the reasons that explain why others do it or reflecting on what you have gained by doing it then you really might as well not bother. Why camp on the side of wet hillside in the driving rain and wind for a weekend before trekking 30 miles with only a kitkat and some water if you don't really embrace the whole experience for what it is worth to you?
Yes that parent was right (actually perhaps only half right) in that employers love to see that stuff on a CV; Duke of Edinburgh, sports, volunteering, work experience, artistic achievement and more but the reason they love to see it is because it means they can explore in interview what additional skills and attributes that the candidate has by using their experiences beyond the academic sphere; where let's face it results are increasingly similar. It allows the potential for genuine diffentiation and personal brand clarity which I know are both big issues in recruitment of inexperienced candidates...
So folks if you go down the path of putting stuff onto your CV that you think might be useful in persuading an employer that you are an outstanding candidate then you better be ready to prove it and walk the talk by showing them that you have thought about what exactly you gained from your experiences and what that means to them in terms of how it makes you a better candidate.
For example if you have completed any Duke of Edinburgh Award and you feature it on your CV then make sure that you have thought about what that experience has given you in terms of leadership, team work, project management, working to timescales, motivating others, planning etc etc - that is the stuff they want to hear, resulting in a fully connected and intelligent use of your experiences showing them what they want to see, which is your ability to do the job you are applying for. It is really that simple but only if you address the employability challenge in the right way and not just like a 'to do' list where you need to acquire things and where the acquisition is the end in itself because that I promise you will lead to failure.
So my advice to all you students (candidates) out there is that I am of course saying yes go and do lots of stuff, experience everything you have the time and budget to experience and get work experience whenever you can; but don't just do those things beacuse you think you should, instead you must do them because you want to develop, learn about yourself, experience new things and then on reflection understand why they have made you a more rounded appealing and able candidate.
And my advice to parents and schools as well I guess is that employability is a concept to be respected and embraced fully not to be treated like a superficial 'nice to have' list to be looked at after the important stuff (academic grades) it needs full and careful consideration so that the student you are advising gets the most from their efforts and converts effort and time into employable skills and attributes.
If you need to know more, need help in converting brilliant experiences into employability or help with informing school or Uni staff and students about this whole concept then let us know - happy to help!
Working with one of my regular career coaching clients this week I had a revelation, not a blinding flash of light or anything dramatic, but a genuine realisation that one of the key things that is essential to being open to, attracting and considering all opportunities is a truly open mind.
An open mind unburdened by parental influences, that is not restricted by a culturally imposed vision of what a career means or what it might involve and also a mind open and able to let people know that you are looking for a new challenge and able to ask them about what they do and then crucially, actually listening to what they say.
The key conversation with my client went something like this; I suggested a possible occupation, one where I knew there were vacancies, that my client had the skills set and personality required and which fell within their commuting distance requirements. Their answers was 'Oh no I don't want to do that...(5 second delay)....what do they do exactly?' That in a nutshell is the closed mindedness that I am warning against. That could have been a job advert on line, a conversation or a recommendation that my client might have just wasted by not being open-minded and receptive to new ideas.
We all have stereo-types knocking around in our minds; environment, parents, experience and preference (however ill-informed) all create them but to truly give yourself every chance of finding a role that will satisfy, challenge and develop you, you will need to get rid of the 'office work is all paperwork / sales is all cold-calling and account management means the same thing in every company' approach because it will limit your chances and also in turn display a lack of the both the imagination and desire to find the right thing and can never do you no favours.
The conversation continued and we found out that actually my client had very little idea about very many different career paths and job titles infact they had a worryingly small amount of knowledge for someone that was not fresh out of school or college and might have had an excuse for not being very worldy wise about such things.
My advice is; find out more, find out detail and challenge yourself not to present a closed mind to any opportunity. Why? Well in my opinion on many occasions your career will find you rather than vice versa, in which case you need to let it find you rather than not even listening when fortune comes calling. Many of the successful people that I know in challenging, responsible and indeed well paid roles did not set out to be a ............ whatever but instead have taken time to understand what it is that they offer and then when the right opportunity arises and they asked the right questions and then saw that a match might be possible and grasped the opportunity.
Many skills and competencies do span across a whole range of occupations. Knowledge is clearly very important but training and additional qualifications (often in the role) can help you to overcome those barriers. Ask yourself which industries are struggling to recruit (and trust me despite the financial climate as a write this there are many industries with long vacancy lists that they cannot fill.) Research the businesses / sectors involved and really try to understand what it is they do. Ask people in the industry and seek out connections in your network who can advise, inform and illuminate the whole picture for you.
There is nothing wrong with having a dream job and being geared towards it from an early age within education but times change and the role that you always wanted to do might not even be what you think it is. So in short; have an open-mind, know what a job involves before you commit or reject it and use those around you to inform you and you will find that many more opportunhities arise and that the world looks a different place once the blinkers are removed.
We often forget the important details when we are getting ready for an interview; thinking too much about those dreaded 'killer questions' and imagining the pressure won't really do you any good to be honest. This simple little memory prompt will be invaluable just to make sure that you give yourself every opportunity of nailing it and being in the best state of mind you can be to be successful!
Dress The Part
Simple but crucial - are they a 'suited and booted' type company or do they encourage smart casual or even dress down as part of their culture? Even then do you want to risk adopting the dress code that their employees are encouraged to use or do you want to start with a statement of standards? Our advice - go suited and as smart as you like unless they specifically tell you different. Let them see the best of you and that includes ironing things well and shining shoes and knotting your tie somewhere near your neck. You don't know the standards of the person who will be interviewing you so don't risk a decline on something as superficial as dress.
Plan Your Route
Again in a world of Google Maps, AA Route Planner and Sat Nav you'd think this was a no brainer; but you'd be surprised. Don't assume anything, look for the best route and best form of transport to get you there reliably on time. Time keeping is still a corner-stone of performance analysis in many businesses and so is personal organisation. Make the effort to know and be sure that you will be there when you need to be. It might not be the coolest thing in the world to swot up on routes and bus / train timetables and research traffic issues around the venue but since when has cool been relevant to getting a job!
Prepare Some Questions
When they ask, and they will, at the end of the interview 'do you have any questions for us' you must have something to say. Why? Well it's not always about what you ask, it's about the fact that you are interested enough in them and their job to have thought about it, that you can make a critical last impression by showing your research skills, asking intelligent questions and really engaging with them. It is flattering to a recruiter for you to be interested enough in the company that they work for to ask them about it. Simple.
Breathing / Control Your Nerves
The biggest cause of interview failure in my experience? Not skills, not ability to answer questions or indeed any one of a dozen other reasons....if fact it is your ability to execute your interview skills in a calm and professional way. It is your ability to remain focused, project an authentic you and gain their confidence. Nerves create nerves, so if you are calm then the interviewer will relax, listen more and be more receptive to you and what you offer. So, a few deep breaths perhaps in the rest room or on the walk to the interview room are highly recommended. Get your heart rate down and get some oxygen in your lungs. Develop some personal mind tricks that will suit you for calming down; I think of a waterfall or a sunny day, things that make me feel relaxed. You'll find yours; use it!
Get There Early
Fits with the route planner point above but also it means you can do the relaxing things and the caliming down thing in your own time. It means you can sit in reception and soak up the atmosphere, get used to the environment and start to feel at home. It also means you can interact with other candidates; if it is perhaps an assessment centre. You can show them that you are relaxed by getting talking so that you are warmed up for the interview and maybe show them that you are a strong candidate for the job which might put them off their game!
Practice Your Lucid Stories
I'll blog another time maybe about the full lucid stories theory that we use but in the meantime my basic advice is this. If you practice using some examples from your life / career / experience before the interview and you know what competencies and skills you want to illustrate using those examples then you can relax because essentially you already know what you are going to say in the interview, it is just a question of them asking the questions! This means you can focus on your 'performance' and do the body language, eyes and smile stuff that makes a huge difference because you already know your lines!
Research The Job
Please don't ignore this as being too obvious! Find out as much as you can about the job / company / sector as you can. Go on-line, ask people visit company sites and find out from others who work there. If you know about the job already then it gives you an advantage over others competing with you and it shows you are really interested and gives you a chance to answer that tricky industry or company related question that might get sneaked in! It is time very much invested...
Know Who To Ask For
Basics again but really important. You should confidently approach reception and ask for the person who invited you to interview and mention the job that you are being interviewed for and smile, make an impact with the receptionist. I always ask the reception team what they thought of my candidates and ask them if anyone stood out from the rest and why. They are used to meeting all kinds of people all day so they are sensitive to people with a bit of extra sparkle - let them see the sparkle it in you!
Eat / Hydrate
How often do people run out of gas on a long recruitment day? All of the time and it costs them dearly. Make sure that you have eaten the right amount of food, that your blood sugar levels are maintained and that you drink before and during the interview / assessment centre. If there are biscuits on offer take one, ensure you have a glass of water at interview and eat well at lunch if it's an all day event. The water will give you a prop as well as hydrating you; you can think while you drink. Also at lunch often assessment centre or interview evaluations continue so make sure you talk, shine and use the right cutlery!
Reherse Your Answers
Ask your nearest and dearest to ask you some basic questions and practice your answers. Often competency based interviews have questions that start with; Can you give me/us and example of....Can you tell me/us about a time when.....and....Describe a siutation that illustrates your skills / knowledge in...........if you get your Lucid Stories sorted out and practice applying them to questions about; team work, handling pressure, working to deadlines, hitting targets, working as a team, project management and managing people then you will be really well prepared for what they throw at you.
As I said before this is all very simple stuff and the pics I have used are just clip arts finest but ignore this post at your peril because when it comes to interviews and assessment centres in the current climate with huge coimpetition for every job; the candidate who prepares best will give themselves the best chance of success and that is the bottom line.
Being an employer is tough. Being an employer that is looking to find new talent is even tougher. How are you supposed to be able to find, indentify and engage with the right sort of people that can do the job, fit in with your company culture and add that something special to take your brand forwards??
Well it's your job as a candidate to know your brand, assets, competencies and skills and then show them off in the best possible way. Impact is the key word here. I have recruited for a wide range of roles and when you have a pile of CV's either on your desk or in your In Box you have to sift through them and they have to talk to you in order to stand out and be the one that you select. Pink paper and funky fonts aren't necessarily the answer but you might find some inspiration from the brilliant CV's that have been compiled here:
Of course it's 'horses for courses' and the guys that put those CV's together were looking for roles that might not be the kind that you are in the market for but my point is that they have gone to town in making sure that they use their CV as a marketing flier for their brand and to succinctly communicate what it is essentially about them that the recruiter / employer should see immediately and understand.
Put it this way; you are walking down the High Street or through the shopping mall / arcade and someone thrusts an A5 flier into your hand. That glance, that moment that you spend looking at it is everything; you decide if the flier is talking to you, if you are interested and if you want to associate your brand with it - either by buying, attending or supporting whatever it is that the flier is talking about. Try and take that experience, that choice that you make into your thinking for how you want your CV to be received.
What does the headline are your flier / CV need to say / do to engage the reader. That 'handshake moment' is everything. Just like when you meet someone for the first time a whole myriad of thoughts speed through your mind, you are weighing them up; face, handshake, eyes, clothing, smile, words, body language...now think about how without many of the impactful weapons I just listed you can make an impact with the reader of your CV in the same way. They will be looking at type face, layout, words, vocaulary, easy of reading, relevance, personality and potential.
Forget bland and conservative unless you know that the people you are trying to impress want exactly that! Think about how you can reach out in your opening 'Personal Statement' and grasp their attention, introduce yourself and get them wanting to read more...
You are your own career manager, your own brand manager and your own PR company and your CV is the marketing flier that will create interest in what you are and what you can do.
Worth pondering on next time you are updating your CV or perhaps worth implementing now and getting together a CV that you can be proud of because it represents you in everyway it needs to rather than being a functional document with generic facts and statements and won't stand out.
Some basics; bullet points (make it easy to find the good stuff), tangibles (make it easy to demonstrate walking the talk), vocabulary (makes you stand out because you don't over use words like 'passionate') and layout (visual appeal leads to interest and engagement....
We can help with CV rewrites and reviews either face to face on on-line; it is the key that opens doors!
Sometimes it surprises me that candidates struggle to connect with potential employers when their immediate network of friends, family, team mates or social contacts could help them out in all sorts of ways. I thought I would talk about how you can give yourself the best chance of connecting with the right job opportunities based on my own experiences of both looking for jobs, helping others to and seeing how successful candidates use their connections.
What should you have in place to maximise your chances?
Ask People What They Do / Tell People what You Do – I was really surprised when a cricket team mate, who had recently graduated and was looking for a career opportunity, was unsure of what I did in my work. I then realised that we only ever talked about cricket in that social circle. We both I guess need to take responsibility for the not knowing; but once we had talked and he asked for help, we spent time getting his CV the way it needed to be and I was then able to get his CV in front of perhaps 15 key contacts which lead to three interviews within two weeks and two job offers within a month. All from one conversation between two people that knew each other already.....
LinkedIn -–I am huge fan of LinkedIn for many reasons but as careerist or graduate it makes all sorts of sense to create and build a profile for yourself using this platform. You will be surprised by how many people you know who are already active on the site and also how many people they know or have access to through their connections. My 1,100 connections means I have 11,500 people on my network and access to 7.9m through my connections it takes time to build numbers and needs and weekly investment of time but it pays you back!
CV - make sure you have a new, updated and well presented copy of your CV with you at all times or at least the ability to e-mail a copy of it to new contacts quickly. You never know when a conversation might end up with the line ‘I know someone that is looking for someone with your profile’; the ability to follow up on these golden opportunities is crucial make the most of your good fortune.
Expand Your Network - traditional British reserve means we are not fantastic at putting ourselves out there and
advertising our skills to the world but you will be amazed how responsive potentially important contacts can be.
Contacting industry leaders, local specialists and potential mentors to help you and advise you on their area of expertise is a huge compliment, first a foremost; you are saying, in essence, I know you are a key player, I want to work in your industry, can you help. Also attending events relating to your potential career industry and asking questions, seeking out people that you think may be able to help and absorbing information about the industry will help you hugely.
The key as far as I am concerned is always being on duty for your career. Any social setting or situation has potential and people that know you and like you will help you, so give them every chance to do so by letting them know that you need help.
Managing your own career is very much the way it is now; the lower numbers of job opportunities, the changing relationship between employersand employees and the current economic downturn all add up to mean that you
need to be your own marketing department for the brand of you and that concept once absorbed and understood should inform the way that you communicate with the network around you and maximise your chances of getting lucky.
I think it was golfer Gary Player who said ‘it’s amazing, the harder I practice the luckier I seem to get.’
I have been thinking this week about this word employability. It is being mentioned in the loftiest political circles as well as in schools, colleges and universities, its also being considered by employers and I am told that even parents are managing to suppress their understandable distraction with qualifications, to mention it.
But what does the word actually mean, shall we dwell for a moment on finding a working definition and then using that to inform our thinking further?
Good old Wikipedia says....
While there is no singular definition of employability, a review of the literature suggests that employability is about work and the ability to be employed, such as:
1. The ability to gain initial employment; hence the interest in ensuring 'key skills', career advice and an understanding about the world of work are embedded into the education system.
2. The ability to maintain employment and make 'transitions' between jobs and roles within the same organisation to meet new job requirements and
3. The ability to obtain new employment if required ie. to be independent inthe labour market by being willing and able to manage their own employment transistions between and within organisations.
I must say that for me, the first bullet is the most resonant just now. I’d really like to focus on the sentence ‘an understanding about the world or work’ and it being ‘embedded in the education system’; for me this is the crux of the whole employability debate.
But who is responsible for this huge undertaking?
Can we expect the educators, that have been driven for a long time by their performance being judged purely in terms of the academic, to be able to change over night?
Do our parents need to acknowledge that the A Level / Degree certificates are no longer enough for a career, unlike back in the 70's / 80's??
Is it the employers; should they offer more internships, placements and apprenticeships to young people?
Do commercial expert consultants like Consortio need to be welcomed in to the debate and have their knowledge and experience celebrated instead of being seen as competition by everyone...?
Or maybe should young people take responsibility for their own career and employability skills from an earlier age?
Tough questions.....my view is actually a bit of all of the above because none of the stakeholders in the process are able, on their own, to solve the problem in its entirity and indeed none of them have the know how to be the sole solution. So cooperation, mutual purpose and communication are key to bringing all the stakeholders together and to move the issue forwards quickly.
We know that we, at Consortio, are an important part of the solution.
We know that everyone needs to be part of a coordinated plan.
And we definitely know that unless we solve this sharpish that we will be failing our future talent and impacting our future economic capability.... serious stuff!
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