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What’s Holding You Back? – Skills and Experience

Hi Everyone

Now that we have settled into the new year, you will probably have noticed a lot of posts about goal setting and how you need to take action in order to move forward with your life. These posts are an invaluable source of information and inspiration and they are absolutely right, if you want to achieve your desired outcome, you need to take the steps to get there by setting goals and then acting on them but in the next few posts I want us to take a look at what may be holding you back from setting goals in the first place.

Sometimes in order for you to move forward you must reflect on the past and assess the present to see what changes need to be made. If you keep doing the same thing then you will always get the same result. If you are not happy with the result then you need to change what you are doing and there is no time like the present, so what are you waiting for?

Let’s consider some of the things that may be holding you back.

Not having the right skills or experience

There is no easy way to say this, if you haven’t got the right skills and experience for the job role that you desire, in these difficult economic times, you need to either obtain them or learn to convert previous experience and learnt skills into transferable experience and skills and if you can’t do that then you probably won’t get a look in because the competition is so tough.

Do not be fooled by a job advert that states: “Previous experience is not essential as full training will be given for the right candidate.”

If the interviewer can get a person with previous experience who has the correct basic skills, the right attitude for the job and is the right fit for the team, then they will go with them instead of someone with little or no experience. When I was a retail manager I recruited my own staff  and I advertised for the experience and skills that I required and yes I still got applicants applying with little or no relevant experience and as time is money in business, usually I would sift theses applications out on first look as I had a large number of applicants. Of the applicants that were sifted out there may have been some that had the right attitude or were a good fit for the team but because I didn’t put them through to the interview stage I would never know this, so having the right skills and experience is essential.

When I wasn’t working, on the odd occasion I would apply for a job that was out of my sector and one that I had little or no relevant skills or experience in, just as I thought, I would get a reject letter or worse, nothing at all. Upon analysis, the reason I got a rejection letter was because I appeared on paper to have some of the skills and experience that were relative to the job and some transferable skills but obviously not as good a offering as someone who blatantly had the skills and experience in that sector and therefore I wasn’t surprised I was rejected and took it on the chin. When I received no reply whatsoever, it was because on paper there were barely any skills and experience relevant to the role for which I had applied, so why should the employer bother to reply to me when it looked like I had randomly decided to ‘give it a go’. An employer wouldn’t like this attitude and to be honest neither do I and when I became a manager I understood that and if I were to apply for a job now I would always tailor my CV and Cover Letter to the Job specification and that’s why I get responses when a lot of other people don’t, so if you are struggling to get responses, now you know the secret, why not try it for yourself?

If you want to gain the skills and experience to get a job you desire, you need to do voluntary work, work experience and you may need to take a course as well.

To read about what else may be holding you back be sure to read the next post, until then, whatever you do, stay positive.

Sandra Bellamy

housing benefit, job centre, radio devon, Redundancy

Redundant? It’s time to take stock of your life

Hi Everyone

As I know from personal experience, redundancy can have devastating consequences.

It can make you anxious, nervous, depressed and stressed.

Yes, although you are not physically working, your brain is more than likely working overtime by worrying about what may or may not happen to you in the future.

Now is the time to take stock of your life to gain some degree of control over it.

Make a list of your monthly income, which is probably money from benefits, then of your expenditure and of any savings you may have.  If you have yearly expenditure you could divide that by 12 months  This should help you to establish what salary you need to be earning when you apply for jobs and enable you to establish how long you can live without paid work.  If you are in dire financial difficulties you can ask your local housing benefit office if they can access emergency funds.

Make a list of all the things you want to do in your life, both personally and professionally, from the simplest of ideas to the ideal dream scenario.  Let your imagination run wild.  Then next to each one, write down what it would take to achieve each of these.  It may be to go back to college or university.  Do voluntary work or work experience.  Read a Self-Help or How to Book in order to teach yourself through their simple step-by-step guide.  Enquire at your local job centre about funding.  You will often discover courses are much cheaper or entirely free if you are claiming Job Seekers Allowance.  Go to your local university or college and pick up a catalogue of information regarding the different courses available.  Be proactive not reactive and make things happen.  Many courses you can do in the evening and so you would still be available to work in the day.  By doing a course it will increase your skills and experience,  therefore making you a more appealing candidate to prospective employer.  It will focus your mind on something other than your problems. Get you out of the house and increase your confidence.

Whilst this is a nerve-wracking subject for some, if you have any health problems or issues, now is the time to get them sorted.  You will worry more in the future if you don’t face these now.  Whether it is your physical or mental wellbeing, now is the perfect time to go to your doctor, ask to see a specialist consultant and/or attend counselling sessions.  There is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.  I have recently become a Health Buddy for South West CSV on a voluntary capacity for “The Stripping it Bare” campaign in association with Radio Devon.  We encourage people from all walks of life to go for screening for things such as Chlamydia, Testicular Cancer and Breast Cancer.  Whilst you are out of work, this is the perfect time to get yourself checked out and if you feel poorly, to get yourself better, so you are at your fittest to take on another job whether that be working for yourself or for someone else as an employee.

By actively doing things to improve your life or circumstances in some way, you will have less time to feel nervous, anxious, depressed or stressed about being redundant  You will feel you are making some progress in your life and that will have a positive effect on you.

Stay positive.

Sandra Bellamy