#InspireLSCareers| Returning To Work… And Happiness

There are many times in life when unexpected decisions and circumstances are actioned in the workplace. Companies will subscribe to hiring staff to continue a time honoured tradition affectionately known as the revolving door. Moreover, being laid off from work, forwarding a notice in advance or leaving on mutual terms is not overwhelming when happiness and future prosperity is fully taken into account. Evidently, companies lose an exponential figure of money with perennial hiring’s and indeed firings within their structure. Each member holds a different contractual agreement which states their scheme (full-time, part-time, temporary) which can leave content as much as uncertainty from within.

When searching for the correct role in the next step of your career, place everything into its purest context – travelling distance, annual salary, requirements, hours, alongside the company ethos, reputation and history. The list is endless. When some individuals are returning to work, they may feel a sense of obligation and little hesitation in accepting to attend the first interview opportunity and/or accept the first offer which is presented.


Analyse whether the role is suited for you in the long-term, mid-term or short-term window. The job may be the right size, but is the opportunity the right fit for your future going forward? Is it to fill a gap on your resume? Is it to gain rich experience in a particular field? Is the motivation of finance the underlying theme for gravitating toward a certain role? Do you want to transition into another job on the basis of depression and boredom? The answers vary on many levels. When you do a job that you truly love, you will never work a day in your entire life. It’s about balance and options.

Do not apply for a vacant opportunity on the temptational allure of what is seen from the outside looking in. All that glitters is not gold. Do as much research and consult with your head opposed to your heart. In addition; speak with a trusted family member or a good friend who holds credibility, honesty and knowledge in assisting you in your return to the next destination in your career. Evaluate all of the opportunities by frequenting to the shortlist of every single role in which you have applied for. Are you aiming too low? Are you aiming too unrealistically? Find your passion and incorporate your experience, qualifications and ethics into full practice into carefully selecting a role in which you envision yourself remaining in for the long haul.

Do you want a job or do you want a stable career? Stability means everything to the employer and the employee on a resume. A resume is not who we are, rather what we have done and how competent we are in carrying out the tasks effectually for the role advertised. A resume should be two pages maximum. Amend and cater your resume to fit the specific requirements of certain opportunities within the employment market.

There is also the hidden employment market. The hidden employment market consists of a vast amount of roles which are not explicitly promoted throughout the many employment websites. In progressing forward, send a high volume of emails, endeavour to contact employers via phone, network via Linkedin, and visit the companies personally out of courtesy to garner an aura of the workplace and its personnel. The more proverbial bricks which are placed into position, the greater the foundation for your success will be in relation to interview opportunities and ultimately being hired for the job that you desire.

Those returning to work largely includes women who have raised children, individuals who have overcome deeply traumatic life experiences, mental health complications, or those would-be employees who simply require additional training by way of training providers, nationally accredited funded courses and alternatively home/distant learning on their computer. The market is very competitive and it is simply a matter of tailoring and presenting yourself and indeed your resume to its full potential. An employer generally takes less than one minute to gather if an individual is suitable for the role, whether in a sitdown interview or evaluating during the recruitment process. You don’t get a second chance to make a big first impression.

Returning to work holds different implications and should never be viewed as taboo when personal circumstances are measured. The equality act represents that all individuals will be evaluated fairly irrespective of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or social class.

Happiness is the main theme when finding a new job. There are a plethora of opportunities available on reputable employment websites such as Indeed and Reed. Nobody should be working in an environment that does not agree with their personal happiness or satisfaction. It is about mustering the inner strength in making a positive change today and returning into work after unexpected circumstances that briefly prevented you from work. There is a brighter tomorrow, and it begins now. You are one click away from success.





W| By Dean Perretta                     @DeanPerretta                    #InspireLSCareers

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Career, May 2015 Comments (0) |

#InspireLSCareers| Why Volunteering Is The Pathway To A New Career

A vast number of people work in sectors different to their educational training. This is a trend that is very common in today’s world where skills and knowledge are becoming increasingly transferable between various sectors. For some of us, we studied a course based on the promises of a bright and fulfilling career, parental influence, prestige or financial incentives but soon found out that it was not all fulfilling as it promised to be.  So, how can we change careers? Are we able to do this by proactive learning and be successful in the new pathway or is the only way to making this a reality, re-qualification?

I can suggest a means of changing a career, I can’t promise it is one you will like or even try especially as we live in a society where “we look after number one”. However I am advocating VOLUNTEERING as a means to a new career.

Before I elaborate on the benefits, I want to be certain that I am not misunderstood.

We are familiar with the term ‘volunteer’ or ‘volunteering’. Some definitions I like as thus:

• To perform or offer to person a service of one’s own free will.

• To do charitable or helpful work without pay.


I am suggesting that a plausible way of changing to a different career is by offering to work for absolutely nothing in your chosen sector. There are benefits to doing so to you and also the potential employer. The first benefit to you is being given the ability to ‘test the waters’ and deduce whether it is an area for you.  Volunteering will give you an insight not just to the sector but also the employer and whether they live up to their ethos. You will gain vital information that will help you identify whether or not this career path is suited to you and your needs.

A second benefit is that you would have made a firm statement to a potential employer. A statement of service and diligence, it takes an impeccable character to serve freely as though it was paid service and guess what? When the firm is recruiting, you will be top of the list assuming you have good work ethics and conducts and also the fact that they’ve trained you and would rather not waste money training someone else from scratch. Thirdly, you get free training and continuous professional development as earlier mentioned. This will enhance your chances of making that switch in career either within the company you’re volunteering in or to its competitors.

Other benefits to the employer is that they get to know you as an individual and check you out. They too deserve the chance to establish whether you’re capable of performing the relevant tasks you may be one day paid to fulfil.

I personally know a lot of people who have managed by volunteering first, to change careers between two very diverse fields and are thriving in it. My conclusion to the matter is this, volunteer in the area you wish to start in, be diligent with your service and always seek opportunities to learn and develop. I hope you succeed in your chosen course of action.

About the author:

Iroro Agba is the co creator of the organisation; Elevated Development Ltd. Providers of Educational Support Needs.



W| By Guest Columnist Iroro Agba                            @iroroagaba

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Career, March 2015 Comments (0) |

#InspireLSCareers| How Smart Women Can Get Themselves Into Top Jobs

As an ambitious woman, you are probably all too aware of the obstacles you need to tackle as you climb each rung of the career ladder.

In 2015 the glass ceiling remains intact and women still find it difficult to reach the same heights men have achieved for generations. However, chips are appearing in that ceiling as employers take this issue more seriously, making changes to help recruit more women into senior roles.

Better gender balance, better results

Cranfield University’s latest report on female board members at the UK’s top firms reveals that in the last four years, FTSE 100 companies have increased the number of women on boards from just 12.5% to almost 21%.

Also in 2011, one in five FTSE 100 boards were solely made up of men. Now, almost all boards have women members. The report also claims that investors and executive recruiters are proactively working towards creating a better gender balance.

Gender Equality

But why has this become such a hot topic?

It has been proven that business prospers with more women in senior jobs. The strategic management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, claims that performance improves with more women on boards or top management. Also, Leeds University research claims that at least one female director on the board can reduce the risk of going bust by 20%.

It makes good business sense to get more women into senior jobs, and it benefits everyone.

Women in Senior roles

Giving yourself the best possible chance

If you are aiming to secure a place around that board table, it helps to find an employer that understands the unique issues experienced by women in their careers, and offers initiatives to help them. However, relying on your employer might not be enough at the moment. But you can do a lot to push your own career along.

When you are planning your next steps, keep an eye out for employers that offer some of these useful tactics.

1.      Mentoring

Teaming up with a mentor in senior management is very empowering. As the mentee, you get insider advice and guidance, and the mentor acknowledges your hard work and potential. This kind of recognition and support is a big driver for women who otherwise may lack the confidence to tackle barriers at work, which are holding them back.

2.      Flexible working options

Find an employer that offers options for flexible working. Arrangements such as job-sharing or part-time jobs can help women return to their careers after bringing up a family, or another caring responsibility. Since flexible working can increase overall productivity, more employers are providing it. Research this when you embark on the next job search.

3.      Network on LinkedIn

Social media is ideal if you cannot meet other female professionals face-to-face. Join groups such as the ‘Achieving Gender Balance at Board Level’ group to learn, debate, share knowledge and encourage others.


Social Media Networks

4.      Follow role models on Twitter

Following the women you admire the most on Twitter provides a constant stream of inspiration. Who is your role model in business? Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, fragrance creator Jo Malone or West Ham’s Karren Brady, perhaps?

5.      Leadership training

Find a reputable leadership programme for women, and you will get new opportunities to boost your self-esteem, exchange information, and develop key skills needed for senior management roles. Upgrading skills can also inspire you to speak up at meetings, attend networking events, and generally get yourself noticed more. Why wait a minute longer? Sign up to a course today!

6.      Find a job in a growth industry

Some industries are historically male dominated and may be a little slow in breaking away from long-held traditions. So look at emerging industries that are growing rapidly, and urgently need new talent. Sectors such as green technology and renewable energy are hungry for talent and, as new industries, may have fewer gender-related barriers to break down.


W| Written by Lynn Walters, Director of Pure Resourcing Solutions. A leading, innovative recruitment consultancy firm in the East of England.

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