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Career Change Careers

The Secret To A Successful Career Change

Guest Author – Leila Singh

Accredited Master Coach, Personal Brand Consultant, Corporate Trainer, TEDx Speaker, Award-Winning Author and Founder of The Authentic Leadership Academy™ and mi-brand™

Anything is possible!

If you had been with me during the summer of the year 2000, you would have seen me sitting at my desk in a large open-plan office, writing out a pros and cons list of what I wanted to do. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy in my job, had a great manager and a good salary. And I had studied hard to gain my professional qualifications. Yet, I felt that I wanted more. Something was missing. Having carried out my due diligence, a couple of months later, you would find me sitting in a large meeting room, the goldfish bowl as we called it, because everyone could see in through the expanse of glass. Opposite me sat my manager, Peter.

“Recruitment??? But you have spent years working towards your accountancy career, and you are good at what you do, why would you throw that all away? Is it the money?”

“Not at all, in fact I am taking a 50% pay cut to do this…and I know it will work out…after all, what is the worst that can happen?”

A year or so later, sitting across from my Sales Director Steve, for my annual review, “Leila we took a risk on you, you had no relevant experience, and yet you have been our highest biller this year!”

Prior to this, I was the quiet diligent church mouse, who kept my head down and worked really hard; it was a manager during that time who had shared his advice “Leila, if you want to achieve your career aspirations, you need to make yourself known, so people that matter know who you are and what you do, and recognise your talents…”

I spent two years in recruitment – that time afforded me exponential personal and professional growth. It highlighted that 1) taking a risk and 2) taking myself so far outside my comfort zone, enabled me to realise what is possible, as well as my potential, strengths, and to cultivate the confidence and self-belief I had never had.

Following redundancy, I was offered an opportunity in a global technology firm; I jumped at it, as the company had a great reputation. The role? Nothing I had ever done before. Corporate Finance; designing and implementing change, negotiating multi-$M contracts with investment banks and lenders, as well as establishing and managing a significant financing portfolio across the EMEA region. My confidence, desire to win, willingness to take risks, ask questions and learn fast, held me in good stead. I built a strong network across the business and was influential in achieving results.

After six years, we were acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), where I was offered two opportunities; A Sales Executive or a Treasury Consultant role. I opted for the latter, as this complemented the previous role and enhanced my skills further. After 15 months, I transitioned to the Sales Executive role. During my tenure in this role of almost 10 years, I delivered a little shy of $1bn of business.

The Secret To Successful Career Changes.

You may be asking, what is my secret to successfully transitioning through different careers?

It comprises the following.

  • Believing that I can achieve anything I put my mind to (someone once told me this, and it is so true).
  • Going over and above in my delivery and performance at all levels, be that internal or external clients,
  • Being resilient to the challenges I encountered and never giving up.
  • Not being afraid to ask questions, whilst being a quick learner.
  • Building strong professional relationships, whilst showing up authentically and showing a genuine interest in others.
  • My desire to stand out and make a difference, and be a role model for others.
  • Maintaining high standards consistently in all that I do

And today?

I am the Founder and CEO of my own business, where I coach, mentor and train ambitious career professionals to accelerate their career, through establishing their personal brand, resulting in greater visibility, impact, and performance.

Six years earlier, whilst still a sales executive, working no less than 60 hours a week, I began to immerse myself even further into my personal growth journey; I trained and qualified as a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy. I went on to join a Professional Speakers Academy to refine my speaking and presentation skills; an academy for which I now mentor others. I became an Accredited Master Coach as well as an L&D Trainer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (yes, this was also alongside my job). I wrote and published my book, Success Redefined – How to Leverage Your Natural Talents to be Limitless” in 2015. I also did a board break with my hand, walked on hot coals and on broken glass. I attended various events and training sessions with Anthony Robbins. I invested heavily in myself – money, time, and energy, surrounding myself with the best coaches and mentors, to continue to learn and grow and to be able to show up for my clients as the best version of myself.

I chose to leave HPE at the end of 2018 and embark on this next chapter of my life. Yes it has been challenging, leaving behind my corporate identity, the structure, the salary and the corporate benefits of a large organisation, to live in a world of uncertainty, and yet it is a life of freedom, choice, risks, celebrations and massive personal growth.

Embracing A Growth Mindset.

Growth never stops; this is one of my core values, alongside [personal] leadership and authenticity. And I am proud to say that my biggest accomplishment to date is becoming a TEDx Speaker in 2019.

If you are thinking, “I want change, but…” consider this;

1. When I went through my first career transition, from accountant to recruitment consultant, having just given notice, within a matter of days, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and as a consequence, overnight had become paralysed from the waist down. What should I do? I could have very easily chosen to stay in the finance role, something that I knew and was settled in. Yet I went ahead with the transition, whilst for the first several months, supporting my mother in adapting to her newfound restricted and tragic situation, dealing with the emotions of the situation, and being her primary carer alongside my father.

2. On the same day my mother was diagnosed, I was due to move out of home, having purchased my first place, having simultaneously agreed to taking a 50% pay cut…I believed it would work itself out – and it did.

3. I spent sixteen years of my career in the technology sector, as a woman of colour, in a male dominated environment. I did not experience imposter syndrome, nor feel that I was treated differently from my colleagues.

Why? Because my focus was on me, my desire to stand out for the right reasons, over-performing, and consistently maintaining high professional standards.

What would I say are the key ingredients needed for a successful career transition?

ABC: Attitude, Belief and Commitment (I might add: Consistency, Diligence and EQ 

Leila Singh

Leila Singh FCCA is an Accredited Master Coach, Personal Brand Consultant, Corporate Trainer, TEDx Speaker, Award-Winning Author and Founder of The Authentic Leadership Academy™ and mi-brand™

You can learn more about Leila at www.leilasingh.com and connect with her on Linkedin.

Thank you to Leila for providing us with an in depth view of her career decisions and changes. Very inspirational.

If you liked this post then you may also like this post from guest author Didier Penine – ‘Going Self Employed’.

Look out for future blogs and tips for navigating a career change.

Categories
Career Change Careers

Going Self Employed

By Didier Penine

Which Career?

For as long as I can remember I have never had a clear idea of the career I wanted, and this was reflected in my university degree as I chose the subject I was best at which was French due to my background. During my degree I realised I needed something to go with my degree so I did a postgraduate in business management to give me further options.

I found a graduate program with an electrical wholesaler, I was there for a good 10 years and earned a few promotions until I was in a head office role negotiating rebates and sales worth large sums and on paper it looked a good position. Throughout my time there I had a niggly feeling that it wasn’t right for me, and I put it down to not pursuing a career that related to my interests.

A Change Of Career

Through redeveloping my own home I gained a strong interest in buildings, and I decided that changing careers had to be done to pursue a career in construction. Having done a great deal of research I decided that Quantity Surveying would be the idea role and duly did my distance learning and gained a first class degree from the College of Estate Management.

Within a month of being there, that feeling of dissatisfaction was there again, and it quickly grew to a level greater than I had ever experienced. The people around me were incredibly helpful and supportive and really nice people, however my dissatisfaction was mounting on a daily basis and I could so no escape. This caused great mental anguish as I had spent a considerable amount of time and money to be in the position that I wanted, yet I felt trapped and was unhappier than I had ever felt before. The realisation then dawned on that I needed to be self-employed.

My first roles after graduated offered a certain amount of freedom as they were largely sales/managerial type roles. Quantity surveying was quite the opposite, I found it very restrictive, very constrained and every part of the role was bound by procedure and regulations which stifled my natural desire to do my own thing.

Going Self Employed

For a good 12 years or so I had kept toying with the idea of being self-employed, I had considered being a property developer, however I was apprehensive about the cash required to set up the businesses, plus my property skills weren’t quite there. My other thought was to set up a personalised Champagne business – clearly this quite niche but there is some logic to my desire, My family produce Champagne in Festigny, France and when I got married my dad brought over about 30 bottles of wedding themed Champagne themed around our big day, and as soon as I saw them it was kind of a lightbulb moment, I was instantly drawn to setting up a personalised Champagne business.

As much as I wanted to set up the business, I was apprehensive about quitting a guaranteed salary for doing so. I considered the Champagne business when applying for the construction distance learning but opted for the Quantity Surveying being the safer option. It was when I felt despondent in my quantity surveying career that I realised I had to go for it, and piece by piece I began putting it all together.

This was quite daunting of course as I had no contacts or even any experience in the industry in the UK. Apart from having a family that produces Champagne I was going into it totally cold, however I felt certain there was merit in the idea and that is how Say It With Champers was born. The business is now a year old and we cater for both businesses and the general public, and in terms of job satisfaction I have never been happier than I am currently. Being a startup I earn far less than I did before, luckily the loss-making months are behind me and I can focus on growing and developing the business.

A Career Change Can Be Full Of Hurdles

With hindsight I probably didn’t appreciate how long it takes to build a new business up, the hours I have worked have been much more than previous roles, and in the early days I would be doing crazy hours months only to earn a loss, which of course made me question my decision. I kept at it and a few strokes of luck came my way, now I have confidence that the business will succeed, but of course it was a risk. The definition of whether it has been a success or not would depend on the point of view. In purely financial terms then it hasn’t as the amount earned this year will be much less than previous years. For the future however I believe there is great potential, everyone in the country has birthdays, many people celebrate mother’s/father’s day, anniversaries, weddings and so on. We are also providing mini Prosecco which is perfect as wedding favours and so on.

For the corporate side I have made some great customers with football clubs and gold clubs, and of course it takes time to build things up. You carry on doing the things that work, and stop doing the things that don’t, learning by trial and error is part of the process unfortunately. I feel very optimistic about the future and I have never been happier, so to my the change has been a success, I think with any business you need to give it time and not expect it to be an overnight success.

“Changing careers is a very daunting thing to do…”

Changing careers is a very daunting thing to do, for me I really hated going to work, and when I made the decision I was 35 with another 30 years work ahead of me. I just couldn’t face the prospect of wishing away every day and hoping for the weekend for the remainder of my working career. With any of these decisions you need to be able to have the financial means to pay for the degree, potential loss of earnings (as you may be starting at the bottom of the ladder again). For those who are looking to start a business, this of course has even greater risk, in reality you have to almost write off a year without a salary, and if you can afford that plus the cost of setting the business up, then it may well be an option worth taking.

Didier penine from say it with champers

It all comes down to personality and the choices you have made in your teenage years. Your A level choices will influence your degree choice, which in turn necessarily influence your choice of career. People will often find themselves stumbling into a career that may not necessarily suit them, and of course every year that goes past, the harder it feels to take the plunge and change careers. Many people I knew were dissatisfied with the jobs and careers, and in my experience this became more pronounced when people hit their 30’s.

A change can be a good thing, a lot depends on your individual circumstance such as personality, finances and so on. Granted not every career change will be a success as I experienced myself, however it can be very rewarding for some. 

In my opinion if you are thinking about changing careers to another industry, then go for it – the risk is relatively low and as long as you leave on good terms you will likely be able to go back to your old organisation or industry if it wasn’t. Changing careers to start a business needs more thought, a clear plan and a solid financial footing are imperative if this is being considered.

Thank you to Didier for providing us with a detailed journey through his career decisions.

If you are considering a career change then you may be find this blog interesting too: ‘The Secret To A Successful Career Change’ .

Also look out for future posts on tips and resources to help you navigate a career change or pivot.

Categories
Careers Industry Flexers

Jobs At Supermarkets And Measures Taken During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Supermarket Information

The supermarkets are recruiting. Mainly temporary roles but some permanent too. During this time of massive change and restrictions we rely heavily upon the food industry to ensure we have a steady supply of food. As people need to self isolate (including supermarket employees) the supermarkets are trying to ensure they have the people needed to manufacture, distribute and sell the food.

Below you will find some information on where to find the jobs, store opening hours, latest brand news and the special hours for NHS workers and the vulnerable.

Please remember that as this situation is rapidly evolving, some of the following news, guidance and roles may have changed. For advice on self isolation, social distancing and the latest NHS and government advice and restrictions please always check official sources:

NHS: Click Here

Gov: Click Here

ASDA

OPENING HOURS: Reduced opening hours, check your local store here

NHS workers 8am – 9am Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Elderley & Vulnerable: No stated hours but where possible people in this category must self isolate.

 

ASDA JOBS: click here.

NEWS: News from Asda and what they are doing to support and help communities and colleagues, click here.

 

MORRISONS

OPENING HOURS: Store opening times: Monday – Saturday 8am – 8pm. Store finder here.

NHS Workers can shop 7am – 8am, Monday – Saturday

Elderley & Vulnerable: No stated hours but where possible people in this category must self isolate.

 

MORRISONS JOBS:

Cheshire: Gadbrook Produce Manufacturing site

UK, Temporary Home Delivery Opportunities

UK, Logistics, Food & Catering

NEWS: News from Morrisons.

 

Tesco

OPENING HOURS: Store opening times

NHS workers Can browse and fill their basket up to one hour before opening on a Sunday.

Elderly and Vulnerable: Tesco will prioritise one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9-10am (except in our Express stores), but where possible people in this category must self isolate.

 

TESCO JOBS: Tesco careers

NEWS: Tesco expects further recruitment to take place in the coming weeks. Read about Tesco’s efforts here.

 

Sainsburys

OPENING HOURS: Store opening times, Monday – Saturday 8am -8pm, Sunday as usual.

Store Locator.

NHS workers have a dedicated hour Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8am – 9am

Elderley & vulnerable: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8am – 9am. However people in this category should be self isolating.

 

SAINSBURY’S JOBS: Find Sainsbury’s jobs here.

NEWS: Read more about what Sainsbury’s are doing here. Sainsbury’s News

 

Marks & Spencer

OPENING HOURS: Store opening hours here

NHS workers have first hour of trading on Tuesdays and Fridays

Elderley & vulnerable: First hour of trading on Mondays and Thursdays. However people in this category should be self isolating.

 

M&S JOBS: Find Jobs Here.

NEWS: Information from M&S.

 

THE NHS ARE SEEKING VOLUNTEERS TO HELP OVERCOME THIS CRISIS

IF YOU CAN HELP REGISTER HERE

 

As always we have lots of roles waiting for applications on our flexible working jobs board. Jump over to our search page here….


Flexible Job Search Click Here

Categories
Business Careers Lifestyle Parental

Is Career Coaching as Good as Therapy?

Most people hit a rough patch at a certain point in their lives and they feel lost, overwhelmed, and confused.

The pressure of such a slump additionally magnifies if you’re an entrepreneur who has to run a business and make tough decisions on a daily basis. No wonder that many business owners have too much on their plate, which leads to stress, anxiety, and depression.

A research study has shown that 72% of entrepreneurs are affected by mental health issues directly or indirectly.

But, regular employees also have their fair share of stress resulting from work. A highly competitive workplace paired with increased expectations

If we add a kid or two to this entire equation, it’s perfectly clear that working mothers and mompreneurs have an even greater deal of workload, stress, and pressure to handle. Moreover, if growing pains of your business and your kids coincide, you’ll most probably end up exhausted and completely drained.

One way out of this is seeking professional help, but it can be a bit confusing when it comes to choosing between career coaching and therapy.

That’s why it’s important to discuss the benefits of these two approaches and establish which one can do the trick.

Career Coaching vs Therapy?

The thing is that, although similar and partially overlapping, these two fields are intrinsically different. It’s true that your career represents a big part of your life, and as such has the power to affect your mental health to a great extent. 

In other words, you might even consider taking up both a career coach and a therapist to work on different aspects of your personal and professional life.

The main distinction between career coaching and therapy lies in the fact that the former helps you manage your career and its challenges regardless of how deep it tackles the issue. On the other hand, the main goal of therapy is to improve your mental health and resolve some underlying issues that have been bothering you.

Also, while therapy might take years, as it’s essential to unearth and uncover some hidden negative thought patterns, career coaching can be time-limited and focused on practical work. A career coach can help you develop the necessary skills for job search, learn more about your strengths, and deal with workplace issues.

Benefits of Career Coaching

Now that we’ve established that you can greatly benefit from both career coaching and therapy, let’s examine what individual advantages of both approaches are.

  • Career coaching will help you recognize your own professional value. This can be pretty challenging, as people sometimes aren’t sure what their actual professional worth is, especially after losing their job or having been rejected after numerous job interviews. Similarly, going back to work after maternity leave can be more difficult than people imagine. Maybe the company you work for underwent some changes while you were away, not to mention that many new moms feel anxiety over what they are returning to. Career coaching will offer you an insight into what your particular skill sets and abilities are, and help you articulate them properly while negotiating a job or salary. Also, with proper coaching, you’ll learn how to leave your fears aside and focus your energy on your job and caring for your baby.
  • With career coaching, it will be much easier to overcome the difficulties of a change or make some big decisions. For example, if you’re wondering whether it’s the right time to quit your 9-to-5 job and embark on an entrepreneurial journey, a career coach will point you in the right direction.
  • One of the most important purposes of career coaching is to keep you accountable and motivated, as well as to push you to reach your full potential. Your career coach will monitor your progress towards reaching your goals, keep things in check, and make sure that you’re following your plan. This way, the likelihood of straying from your career path is minimized.
  • It’s essential to make the right career choices and pick what’s best for you in the long term, and a career coach will take both your personality, professional skills, and wishes into consideration when helping you navigate the workplace landscape and your own career path.

Benefits of Therapy 

Even if you’re not facing some life-altering challenges or traumatic events, the truth is that all of us could use a little help and support when it comes to coping with everyday stress and everything that life throws at us.

Research studies have shown that even the act of verbalizing your feelings can have a therapeutic effect on your brain. The power of this simple tactic is multiplied if you’re talking to a professional who is trained to listen to your story and help you articulate, channel, and manage your feelings.

Sometimes our own personal issues prevent us from succeeding, which means that it’s essential to fix them before you can see any career improvement.

Therapy can be highly beneficial for some of the following workplace situations:

  • Help you cope with workplace-related stress and anxiety. If you feel that you’re headed for burnout or that your current job situation is making you feel miserable, it’s a good idea to talk to a therapist and see what you can do to improve it.
  • Asking for a raise. Although a career coach can be instrumental in helping you get the best deal, a therapist can work from another, deeper level, and remove certain mental barriers that prevent you from talking to your boss. If you’re too shy or can’t accept rejection, therapy is essential, while you can figure out the right script and other details with a career coach.
  • Dealing with an office bully. Not everyone can confront a toxic person without getting upset. Therapy can help you build a defense mechanism and muster up the courage to have your say clearly and loudly.
  • Improve your self-esteem. All the issues mentioned above stem from the lack of self-esteem. By understanding your own feelings bringing out your insecurities out in the light, you can work towards becoming more confident in yourself. This is particularly effective if you’ve lost confidence over your work performance and skills – which is nothing strange if you are away for a while on maternity leave. If you start drowning in self-doubt, you should remember that it’s probably just your hormones and fatigue speaking, and therapy will help you learn coping and relaxation mechanisms.

So, Is Career Coaching as Good as Therapy? 

It’s better to ask yourself which one of these two professionals you should hire in order to improve your life.

You might even decide that working with both will help you grow personally and professionally.

What’s the most important factor is, however, finding a career coach who’s keeping pace with the latest trends in psychology and the workplace. That should be a person who’s capable of guiding you towards becoming the best version of yourself.

Here’s what you should pay attention when choosing a career coach: 

  • Do they belong to a coaching organization? This will prove that they meet certain standards of the profession.
  • Ask them for their resume or professional biography, so that you can check whether the program they completed in order to obtain a certificate is legitimate.
  • Even if a certain career coach has a license to practice psychotherapy, it’s better to find some other practitioner to treat your potential mental health issues. It should be stressed that these two approaches work great in conjunction – just make sure to distinguish your sessions and work on your mental/business goals separately.
  • Ask for client references. You should talk to some of the people they worked with and understand why their approach is effective. In a nutshell, it’s not enough to simply read testimonials on the site.
  • Discuss their coaching philosophy. As career coaching, just like therapy, is a delicate matter, it’s essential to find someone whose values and philosophy are aligned with yours.

It’s safe to say that career coaching is as good as therapy, but by no means can we say that these two practices can be used interchangeably, or that one can be used instead of the other. Depending on what you want to work on and improve, you can choose either career coaching or therapy, but these two also form a powerful synergy.

Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.

Categories
Careers Flexible Working Parental

Getting Help to Return in Manchester

Are you a parent or carer in Greater Manchester, looking to return to paid work? Are you looking for support to find flexible jobs with family friendly or carer friendly employers?

Caring, Working, Living is a Greater Manchester project that supports people with caring responsibilities who are looking to return to paid employment (Returners) to increase their confidence and self-esteem in relation to returning to paid employment, and to improve their understanding of the skills that employers are looking for.

Returners are people who have taken at least a year out of work to undertake caring responsibilities for children, or elderly or sick relatives.

Caring, Working Living can:

  • Provide information to ‘Returners’ about agencies in their local area that provide support with job search skills.
  • Provide financial support towards the cost of job searching, for example towards the cost of childcare or other care; travel to an employment support activity; interview costs such as travel or clothing.
  • Provide information about employers that are offering coffee and chats; workplace visits; work trials; placements or Returnships as part of their recruitment.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact Vicky for more information.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 0161 277 1044

Returners can refer themselves here: https://www.gmcvo.org.uk/caringworkingliving/returners

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaringWorkingLiving

Categories
Careers Flexible Working

Flexible Working At Oxbotica

We Are Powered By Our People.

At Oxbotica we take great pride in our team. We create a space where everyone is welcome, heard, and celebrated for their strengths. We’re driven by challenge and a commitment to make our employees experience as dynamic and rewarding as we can.

Furthermore, as we build a global business together, we are steered by our experience, insight of an entire team and guided by strong and approachable leadership.

Oxbotica support a healthy work-life balance, in part by offering flexible working and plenty of social engagements open to the whole team. We regularly share our vision, targets and company updates with everyone, including remote workers. Oxbotica believe that an engaged workforce is more productive and positive.

As we grow internationally our values and culture are fundamental in keeping us on track and moving in the right direction. Therefore, our people embody these values. They trust us to provide strong leadership, a secure environment and opportunities for growth. We trust them to contribute their energy and expertise to move the business forward.

What Our Employees Say…

  • “If there is a problem to solve, I acknowledge that I don’t know everything – and I don’t try to know everything. Instead, I surround myself with the best people. I canvass opinions from the experts – my team – and pick the answer that gets the job done.”
  • “There is a real sense of community and a very healthy attitude towards things like flexible working. This honest environment encourages accountability and creates a safe space for opening up and asking questions.”
  • “The team is full of clever people. We embrace the challenge of scaling to a global company together”
  • “It’s easy to have a say – everyone wants your opinion.”

Join Oxbotica

Join the brains behind the software that lets every vehicle do more.

Changing the way we move people and goods takes talent, dedication and a united team. Our rapidly growing company includes world-class engineers, technical leaders and commercial masterminds, who are tackling exciting challenges collaboratively and creatively every day.

We develop technology that will touch on the operation of every industry across the globe. As a company we work to create a safer future for both people and the planet. Our team members are people that share our values and drive to make an impact, as we create the future of autonomy.

Flexibility

We create the conditions to help you do your best. Therefore, we do all we can to create opportunities for everyone regardless of personal circumstances. As part of this commitment, we offer a variety of flexible working arrangements including:

  • Part time working
  • Remote working
  • Extended parental leave
  • Unpaid sabbatical

We work 37.5 hours a week, Monday – Friday around core hours of 10:00 – 16:00. This is enough for most; but if you require any extra flexibility we will do what we can to support you.

To see our Current Vacancies click HERE

Categories
Business Careers Flexible Working

What Is Flexible Working?

The issue with answering this question is that flexible working means different things for different people. So many terms can describe types of flexible working and what works for one person could be totally off the table for another. 

However we will attempt to summarise ‘What Is Flexible Working’. 

Essentially it is a work pattern that accommodates the needs of the employee whilst maintaining the business needs of the company. It is a symbiotic relationship. You cannot have one without the other.

It can fall into a few different categories often with different names. The Find Your Flex Group use the 6 pillars.

The Six Pillars Of Flexible Working

  • FT Flexi Start & Finish TImes
  • Part Time
  • Remote Working
  • Compressed Hours
  • Job Share
  • Term Time Only

Flexi Start and Finish Times

Employees work allocated hours but can choose at what time to start and what time to finish. Many businesses make this work by having core hours that everyone has to be in for.

Part Time

Part time hours for those who can’t or don’t want to work full time. For this group of people it’s really important that are considered as important as their full time counterparts. Many part timers are just as ambitious as full timers.

Remote Working

Working in a location other than the main office. It could be at home or in a shared working environment.

Compressed Hours

Working an allocated number of hours across a compressed time period. For example full time over 4 days. Conversely, some may wish to work part time hours but over 5 days for example. Some employers choose to have a core day for meetings that everyone must be in for.

Job Share

A role that has the requirement for full time hours is split between 2 employees. It could be a 50:50 split or an alternative split such as 75:25.

Term Time Only

The required weekly / monthly hours are only worked during term time. Allowing parents to manage school holidays without the need to rely on paid help or favours.

There are so many benefits to facilitating these patterns of work. To read more, why not download our Tips To Implementing Flexible Working.

Flexible working is more frequently in the news today with campaigners such as Helen Whately, Joeli Braerly and Anna Whitehouse. In our next post we discuss the current state and future of flexible working.

Perhaps you are ready to #SignUpToFlex… Contact us today.

Categories
Business Careers Flexible Working Industry Flexers

Royal London helping you #FindYourFlex

“A career here doesn’t have to be to strive for CEO, you can go up, down and sideways if you wish. There are always opportunities. – Nicola Piercewright

“I have developed in every way possible. I am not the shy person I was. My confidence has been built up because of all the trust and support you get with senior leaders.” – Ellen Gibbon

Our customers and members matter to us, we work to please their needs, they are at the centre of everything we do.

This exceptional feedback comes from the brilliant work our Operations team do day in day out:

You are made to feel valued and in this day and age that is very rare. I hope they keep these values and traditions going for many years to come.”

Our award-winning customer service and our mutuality means we can give customers that little bit more, and you can trust us to be there for you when it counts.

People have been at the heart of all that is great about Royal London for more than 150 years and we are looking to maintain this with by adding Customer Service Consultants to our team in Wilmslow.

We have a range of full-time (35 hours) and part-time (minimum 18 hours) roles available between Monday to Friday 08.00 – 18.00 and we are open to discussing working patterns that work for you.

We asked of current Customer Service Consultants why they love working and Royal London and they were more than happy to share their views.

“The opportunities to grow, develop and further your career from starting in customer services are massive and development is a huge focus of Royal London.” – Leighanne Dixon

“The best part of my job is working in a fantastic team of people and helping our customers.”  – Joshua Dewitt

We asked Nicola Piercewright some further questions on her career with us

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Giving our customers the best possible experience and helping them to help themselves with regards to their financial decisions. I know I am making a difference.

How have you developed since joining?

My journey has been long (I have been here 19 years!) at Royal London and my priorities over the years have changed, but if I can come in to work (even Part-time) and make a difference then that’s development right there. I develop each and every day here….from change in legislation and knowing what is required, change in management, from Team managers to CEO. I believe I have developed into a well-rounded person willing to live the values Royal London requires; Empowerment, Trustworthy, Collaborate, and Achieve.

Would you recommend your division to others?

Yes most definitely. Why, because you are valued here, if you come with the right attitude to provide excellent customer service and bring an open mind to enable change for the better then you will have a happy career here. And a career here doesn’t have to be to strive for CEO you can go up, down and sideways if you wish. There are always opportunities.

Our customers are diverse and to continually meet their needs we are looking for people from all backgrounds to join us, bring new thinking, challenge ours and add value daily.

So regardless what sector you have operated in, we want to discuss aligning our expertise and your passion.

Join us here – https://jobs.findyourflex.co.uk/clients/royal-london

Categories
Careers Industry Flexers Technology Industry

The Step Into Tech Programme – Women In Technology

An Interview with Sue Mosley, HR Business Partner BBC, Design & Engineering.

The Women ‘Stepping Into Tech’

The Step Into Tech Programme focuses on getting more women in technology careers. The pilot consisted of 14 weeks training. Including an intense week in Manchester, one evening per week in Manchester and additional home learning with support. The course was part time. Programme two is underway attracting around 900 applicants from London alone.

We love to celebrate the organisations who are getting things right when it comes to women in technology. Sometimes organisations do get things wrong. Like so many the BBC had a significant issue with the gender pay gap. Sue Mosley tells us how the BBC have learned from findings. She talks about what they are doing to encourage more women to embark on careers in technology.

The Interview.

What were the key drivers that led to the development of the ‘Step Into Tech’ programme?

Current stats tell us that the tech industry has an average of 17% females. Software engineering is a profession that is hugely male dominated, and the UK’s is facing a digital skills crisis.

If we want to fix the skills gap, then we as organisations need to be more imaginative in the ways of attracting talent and provide opportunities for progression. We also need to ensure that we’re always striving to have as diverse a workforce as possible. We need to make sure that we continue to be creative, foster innovation and serve our diverse audience.  

The pilot programme was a huge success. What were the key findings or successes?

The success of programme one is down to so many factors. It isn’t just about running a part-time training programme. It is essential that all the participants on the programme are fully committed to learn. That they are passionate about progressing a career within the profession. The measure of success was based on who completed training and then progressed into a role within software engineering and at the BBC.

The delivery of the training had to be adaptable to everyone’s different learning styles. It was essential that the cohort felt part of the BBC throughout their training . This is instrumental in encouraging them to want to progress their careers with us! 

The BBC Step into Tech programme has 16 places. From the first assessment session of 47 shortlisted applicants, it was a real challenge to select 16. The calibre of the individuals was superb as so many of them demonstrated the attributes we were looking for. We could have quite easily run 2 programmes at the same time! 

Do you think the UK will see more programmes like ‘Step Into Tech’ over the next few years?

I’d like to think so, as there is most definitely an appetite for them.  I know of one other organisation who already run a very similar programme. Knowing how successful that programme was and consulting with them, this is really how our Step into Tech programme came about.

There is a huge appetite from individuals who clearly want to learn, develop skills and change career paths. This is a great pool of talent to tap into. The BBC and other organisations can provide those opportunities for this talent pool and help fix the digital skills crisis as well as supporting diversity initiatives.

The ‘Step Into Tech’ programme focuses on women taking their firs steps into a career in tech. What about the career returners. Those who previously found a tech career lacked the flexibility they needed or was too male dominated? Can programmes like the ‘Step Into Tech’ be replicated and adapted to suit returners?

Yes of course they can, many of the aspects on the programme also focused on personal development too. This focus proved really beneficial to some of the cohort. Especially those who were just embarking on that return to work after a career break. So long as those individuals can demonstrate they have the qualities that make a good software engineer, then the programme can suit any individual. Regardless of whether they are a career returner or otherwise, in terms of the flexibility around working.

At the BBC we have a significant number of software engineers who have flexible working. 

With technology advancing the digital skills gap is becoming a serious concern for organisations. What role do you think women have to play in filling this digital skills gap?

Women definitely have a huge role to play in helping bridge some of the digital skills gaps. Currently in the UK there are 427,000 professional women alone who want to return to work at some point. Of those women, 3 in 5 return to lower skilled or lower paid jobs following those career breaks.  Therefore, organisations need to be more creative in their approach to talent attraction. They should be open to offering re-training opportunities as well as flexible working options.

11 out of 16 women from our first Step into Tech programme secured roles in our Design + Engineering division as software engineers. All these women came from very different professions i.e. teaching, medical, admin, legal etc; and this was through the creative approach we adopted. 

Read more on the role of women in technology and closing the digital skills gap in our other post. Read about 23 Code Street and how they are teaching women to code.

Categories
Careers Flexible Working Industry Flexers Technology Industry

Why Coding Makes A Great Flexible Career For Mums

Time To Consider Coding

When thinking about your flexible work options, have you ever considered coding?

You might have not heard of coding before, but you interact with code every day.

All the websites and apps you use have been built by code. Essentially, code is a set of rules and instructions that we give to a computer which bridges the gap between human language and computer language.

Everyone has the ability to learn to code, you don’t necessarily need to be a math genius or a ‘techie’. All you need is the motivation to learn and time to practice.

Below, are five reasons why coding makes a rewarding and flexible career.

1. Lose The 9-5 And Be In Charge Of Your Working Hours

How about no longer working 9-5?

All you need to code is a laptop and some good wifi! Many coding jobs can be done remotely either at home, in a cafe or even in another country! You can work the hours that suit you- so you’ll able to go to parent’s evening or be there for the school run. After progressing into a fully fledged developer you could work in house for a company, a web agency or as a freelancer with a range of clients that interest you.

2.  Learn An In-Demand Skill

There’s currently a huge digital skills gap; employers are looking to hire people who can code and have a technical understanding. As our world becomes more and more digital, the number of tech jobs is increasing. This report found there are over 7 million jobs which require coding skills and programming jobs overall are growing 12% faster than the market average. You’ll have a constant supply of jobs to apply for and chose from.

3.  Enjoy A Rewarding Career In Coding

Let’s be honest, not all flexible working options are rewarding. Coding definitely is.

At first learning to code may seem daunting, a bit like learning a new language, but you’ll soon start to realise how it all pieces together and that is a hugely rewarding feeling. You can’t help but feel proud after you’ve built your first proper web page- something you’ve written, now lives online!

Coding With 23 Code Street
23 Code Street

4.  Make Use Of Your Whole Skill Set With Coding

Coding allows you to combine your old and new skills- so you won’t feel like your previous skills have been forgotten. You’ll be able to use skills you’ve developed in previous jobs and other experiences to help you – like problem-solving, basic maths, an eye for detail, communicating and the ability to Google!

Also learning to code can be a good way to upskill in your current profession and get a new role or promotion. For example, lots of marketers and designers are learning to code to be able to edit websites and newsletters and work alongside tech teams with confidence. By being technically skilled, this will give you a competitive edge and make you stand out to employers.

5.  Feel Empowered and Empower Others With Coding

Tech is seriously lacking women. Globally 88% of developers are men; this is having a huge impact on the products and services being released- for example, Apple released a health app without a period tracker on.  By learning to code, you ’ll be helping create a more gender-balanced tech industry, smashing gender stereotypes and inspiring the next generation of girls to work in tech.

Coding Group, 23 Code Street
23 Code Street

23 Code Street is a coding school for all women. For every paying student, they teach digital skills to a disadvantaged woman in the slums of Mumbai.

Join their webinar course for beginners starting on the 10th July and learn to code in 12 weeks through weekly webinars in a friendly and supportive environment. You’ll develop a strong foundation in web development including how to build websites and apps for the web and work on your own practical projects. The course costs £550- find out more and apply here.

If you want to learn more about women in technology, then check out our other blog posts in this series. Read about The Fourth Industrial Revolution & What It Can Offer Flexers / Career Changers / Parents.