Happy New Year etc….now what’s happening with your career plan?

Want to finish 2017 pleased with your career progress? Act now!

Want to finish 2017 pleased with your career progress? Act now!

by Karen Adamedes

Happy New Year and hope you had a great time over the holidays resting, recharging, catching up with family and friends or whatever you needed for you.

You might have made some resolutions?

Broken them already? (Did someone say cheesecake?)

Or at least made a mental list of some things you would like to achieve during the year?

If that’s the case – great. You’ve got some goals to inspire you. If you haven’t you might want to consider these:

  • If you’re not happy in your current job it might be time to look for a new one?
  • If you want to move “up the ladder” you are probably wanting to indulge in a little networking and to add to your current knowledge, skills and experience?

And I’d suggest that even if you are two million percent happy in your current role – you still need to be working on your career.

We’re all only one corporate restructure, a new manager or one other change at work that can radically reduce that two million percent happy to “I’m better than this get me out of here”.

There’s a great quote from Will Rogers (a Hollywood actor, cowboy and social commentator from the 1930’s) [Sidebar: now that is any interesting combination. Whoever said you can only do one thing in your career?]:

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”.

Whatever your circumstances I’d recommend that if you want something to be different or better by the end of the year (or just have a well developed Plan B in case of a career emergency) – the time to put some actions in place is – NOW.

Ideally we should all have a documented career plan – with an action list, time frames and reflections. But the reality is – who has the time and the discipline to do this? Disclaimer: Unfortunately not me.

I do know what my goals are (which helps!) and my plan is each month to set myself 3 – 5 actions that I can realistically achieve, write them down and do them! (That last one is the tricky bit!)

The writing them down is in the tasks on my phone, which will be no doubt be an annoying but necessary reminder that I need to do them. And the review process is likely to be when I am on a plane or sitting around an airport. In fact, I’ll probably need to use that ‘down’ time to complete my actions.

My action list for January

Let me share my January actions with you – as they might give you some inspiration.

  1. Phone two of my mentors – just to reconnect. (Note: phone not text!)
  2. Make a coffee date with a former colleague who I have not seen in a long time.
  3. Blog (you’ll know if I keep to this one)
  4. Spend 10 hours working on my next book (this feels a bit ambitious but let’s see how I go)
  5. Write an application for an Executive education program I really want to do.

It seems a bit daunting now I have written them down – but at least if I get started I have a much greater chance of getting them done!

The trick is you’ve got to make working on your career work with how you work.

And make your actions relevant for you. That relate to what you really want to do.

So over to you.

Send me your list for January in the comments below or via the contact page if you’d like to share!

So long for now – I need to get cracking on that list!


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10 Signs You Need a Career Change


If you are unhappy at work, you are not the only one. When 2016 dawned, it was predicted that by the end of the year, half of us would be in a new job.

This could mean changing your employer, or it could mean a complete career change for some, with home learning courses presenting a real possibility for the 60% of us unhappy in our work to make a change.

It can, however, be easier to stick with what you know, with the old adage of ‘the grass is not always greener on the other side’ ringing in your ears. It may be that the time has come to swap the drudgery of the commute to a job you dread, to commuting to one that you love (and look forward to!).

But how can you tell?

Here are 10 signs you need a career change…

#1 Sunday night dread

This doesn’t just affect just Sunday night but can impact on any evening before you are due to go to work in the morning. If you work a Monday to Friday job and slump on a Sunday evening on the sofa, dreading what Monday will bring, it may be time to look at making a change. More importantly, if you lose sleep over work, the time has REALLY come for a change.

#2 Your future – full of promotions or murky, dim and full of menacing shadows

Is it a job or a career? There is a fine line between the two. Some people seem happy to turn up. Do their thing and go home, confident that at the end of the month they can pay the bills. If, however, you want something more – like a promotion or a career ladder to make your way up – and your current job is not offering these chances, maybe this is enough to convince you to look elsewhere.

#3 The passion is gone

Work is a relationship. When the passion is gone and the va-va-voom non-existent, then the soul-sucking starts. The feeling of being stuck, being used and of no real future in it makes you feel degraded and unchallenged. The time has come to change… and we are only reason number 3!

#4 Feeling undervalued

When you feel undervalued the outcome is obvious is all to see – de-motivation. It is the key cause of someone feeling rubbish about what they do, feeling they achieve little and that frankly, if they didn’t turn up tomorrow, it really wouldn’t matter.

#5 Trapped

This can be a physical sense as well as a psychological one, and being stunted by not being able or allowed to grow in your role. It may be that you are doing a disservice to yourself by sticking with something that is essentially, unfulfilling. Isn’t it time you tap into your true worth?

#6 Just soul-sucking all round…

Some work place cultures are created when management are not transparent, with one false promise after another. The truth is, some workplaces are just not healthy work environments and the negative impact of this on you and your emotional well-being is not to be underestimated. Unless you are seriously in love with your workplace, it is time to hot foot it out of there.

#7 Dragging-clock syndrome

We all know the agony of watching the clock tick slowly by. Every passing minute seems to last for hours and hours. Constant boredom kills passion, motivation and any sense of self-respect that you started your job with. If your eight-hour shift is passing so very s-l-o-w-l-y the time has come…

#8 The pay is rubbish

In some cases, low pay is part and parcel of economic conditions but some people find that when they compare their rate of pay with that of others in the same or similar role with another employer, they find that their rate of pay is incredibly low.

#9 The green-eyed monster

When you hear the joys expressed by friends or family as they talk about work, do you mask your envy with a wide grin? If so… you know the drill.

#10 You no longer recognize yourself

When work is a source of an identity crisis, there should be no other reason that you need to start looking for a new job. But rather than heading for the same old job, doing the same old thing, why not consider re-training with a home learning course?


This blog post was provided by NCC Home Learning in the UK who offer a range of home learning courses that can propel you from a job to a career. Better still, they offer incredible support packages that make learning from home even easier. Making learning fun again is key for many students, something that many find is part and parcel of working with a leading online home learning course provider such as NCC.

Flexible work…is ‘On Demand’ for you?

People in office laughing at reading text on smartphoneby Karen Adamedes

I jokingly say to people that my life is divided into two stages. Before I used Uber and after I started hoping into nice new cars and being chauffeured around by polite drivers who I summon at the swipe of an app.

This has only occurred recently as I was quite hesitant as the first I really knew about an app ordering car service was based on a CSI Cyber episode, which had a fairly grisly outcome for the customers involved. Once I put my TV inspired paranoia aside I still had questions, Are they safe? Are the cars okay? Will they be any good?

And now that I have tried a new way of getting from A to B I can say yes to all of those questions and how cool is the Tesla? (I may not have completely mastered the app yet as I accidently ordered an UberBlack the other day…)

Anyhow I don’t need to deal with cabs that don’t turn up, drivers that don’t know where they’re going or (warning – yukky imagery ahead) congealed vomit on the inside of taxi doors (yes, that was the tipping point that lead me to try Uber).

So, what’s this all got to do with work and careers? Well it seems that there is a new business model emerging in the recruitment industry that puts flexible workers and employers in touch with each other the same way Uber facilitates passengers and drivers finding each other.

It’s known as an ‘On Demand’ work marketplace. Basically it’s an app that lets employers post jobs and set the price and for people who want to work flexibly – they then bid for your job. And like Uber both sides rate each other when the job is completed.

As well as writing about careers, mine is as a consultant – so the appeal of finding someone for a short term gig is quite appealing. I could get all sorts of help like book keeping when I need it. And have the knowledge that the person I give the work to has positive ratings.

But I think the real magic is the options it provides for people looking for flexible work. If you don’t want to work full-time for a single organisation, like variety or want to work from home (or even take on something extra to your day job) it’s worth a look.

Like the taxi industry many of us have frustrations with the recruitment industry. And many of the articles I write about how to get a job, are about how to get past the recruiter and impress an actual potential employer with your skill.

With this kind of service both employers and workers should be able to able to bypass agencies. I can’t imagine a lot of big corporates using this though…I suspect it will be most popular with small businesses who are also looking to minimize the cost of agency payments.

And the downside of the On Demand economy is to make sure that workers are paid fairly. But the power is in your hands. Don’t bid for a job for a rate that’s not acceptable to you! And don’t take work that you don’t want to do.

One app in Australia is Workfast –looks easy enough to use (I can’t see that I would accidentally order a luxury bookkeeper…?). In the US there are multiple apps that are listed on for temporary staffing and Fiverr for pretty much any type of service you need or provide.

If the CEO heads to the beach for the day – this may not be quite the right way to replace them – but if you want flexibility as a worker or an employer it certainly looks worth a look #newwaysofworking.

5 Tips to find work in a new industry

Finding a job in a new industry can certainly be a daunting prospect. However, you will find that there are a number of qualities which can give you an advantage when starting out. These transferable skills are highly sought after and will ensure you maximize your prospects of being employed in a new industry.

We spoke to a team of managers from bonprix to get their top tips when searching for work in a new industry.

1. Research the Industry

When looking for work in a new industry, researching your chosen field is a priority. Changing industries does not always mean an entirely new career, so try looking for positions similar to your past experience first.

Keep up to date with news from the industry you’re looking to work in and learn about its culture. This will help you weigh up the pros and cons of the industry and identify any challenges or opportunities which could occur in the future.

“Having a basic working knowledge of my field before my career began was an advantage.” Rosie, Offline Campaign Manager

2. Make Yourself Stand Out

Making an immediate impression is integral to any successful job application. When applying for a role in a new industry, you may feel that your CV will be lacking relevant experience. In reality, you have the opportunity to highlight your skills and show you’re serious about bringing a new perspective to that industry.

These skills can be picked up from almost any background, from university courses to long-term hobbies. What you do outside of work can even provide the spark of individuality that will help set you apart from the competition. Employers love being able to see what people are passionate about in their spare time, as they’ll look for you to bring that same level of commitment and enthusiasm to their workplace.

“I completed a placement year as part of my university degree and I can’t stress enough how important this year’s work experience was. It allowed me to put into practice some of my learnings but most importantly prepared me for the real world when I completed my degree.” Lydia, Project Manager

“I did go to university and it was invaluable to me in terms of transferable skills.” Suzanna, Offline Campaign Manager

3. Adapt to Change

If you want to find work and excel in a new industry you must be willing, and able, to change to meet the demands of the job. The ability to adapt is one of the most useful transferable skills you can obtain and is something all employers look for. This ranges from your individual work skills, such as writing style and methods of research, to how you manage working with others.

The workplace is a constantly changing environment. If you can step outside of your comfort zone and push yourself into new situations, then you are sure to excel. All of it requires a degree of flexibility.

“We have to work with new people all the time and adapt to changes in the workplace. Not being able to adapt to change can really hold you back in your career!” Lydia, Project Manager

 4. Be Willing to Learn

When you enter a new industry, you may be starting from scratch in terms of practical, firsthand experience. But this doesn’t mean that you are at a disadvantage. As long as you demonstrate an eagerness to learn, an employer can work with this and help you develop the more specific skills they require.

This willingness to learn can also extend to professional training courses. By indicating that you are open to expanding your knowledge, you make yourself more valuable to a potential employer. You can also show you would be willing to spend extra time learning how to complete tasks when you are still new to your role.

“As with any new job, I felt pretty useless for a while. My knowledge needed to grow, fast. Even after a year I still feel like there is so much more for me to learn. I made sure that I spent extra time on tasks in the beginning to learn them well, and I was lucky enough to have a manager who was a very knowledgeable and good teacher.” Rosie, Offline Campaign Manager

5. Adopt the Right Attitude

In every industry and in every job there are certain aspects that you won’t like. Regardless of your feelings, you have to be able to complete tasks assigned to you. You have to be able to show dedication to your job and for the company that you work for.

If you can show that you care about your work then this will shine through in the quality of what you produce. Keeping a positive attitude will also reflect well on you and ensure that you fit in with a team of colleagues. This is an important facet of starting in a new industry as personality is an influential factor in gaining a job in the first place.

“Every job has admin tasks that are less exciting than the others but these tasks must be done! The most exciting tasks for me are those that are not so day to day, such as the ideas sessions, photo shoots, events, trips to the head office and learning of upcoming plans.” Rosie, Offline Campaign Manager

“Personality is the most important trait but I would also look for experience, confidence and attitude.” Jenna, Finance Department

The bottom line is that you should not be afraid to pursue a career in a new industry as long as you ensure you have the necessary transferable skills. As you can see, there is a lot which you can do to make yourself attractive to any potential employer!


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