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Leo Soloman

More than a third of office workers work longer just to impress the boss

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More than a third of office workers deliberately spend longer hours in the office than needed in a bid to impress their manager, a new poll has revealed. However, this extra work does not increase productivity and can end up having a detrimental effect on home life.

The research, by officebroker.com, found that 39% of workers regularly stayed late or arrived early during the last year, in a bid to seem more dedicated to their job than their colleagues. Over a quarter (26%) said they consistently worked longer days than were actually needed to do their job effectively.

Employees are filling their time browsing the internet, emailing friends, filing and doing menial, non-urgent tasks such as organising their calendar. They are more likely to stay longer at work when a new boss had been appointed, a pay review was imminent or redundancies were expected.

Those employees working extended hours were found to be committing between an hour and two hours extra a day, adding a minimum of half a day extra to their working week, solely to impress others.

A spokesman from officebroker.com says the ‘faking it’ office phenomenon has poor long-term implications for both the employee and their employer. For workers, it’s better to find a new career which they really love, rather than pretending to enjoy the career they already have.

He said: “The general consensus is that many workers across the country are putting in longer office hours than ever before. What our research has found however is that many are doing it in a bid to improve their office image and win favour, rather than because their workload demands it.

“People are sitting idle in their office in a bid to stand out from the colleagues and impress their bosses. This means a poorer work life balance and ultimately no productivity gains for the firm – just increasingly tired workers – which benefits nobody.

“It was also interesting to note that workers were planning when to put in the longer hours, choosing to spend more time in the office when a pay rise, redundancy or new appointment was on the horizon.”

Over the longer term, careers could be at risk with this strategy however, as management become aware of this tactic and crack down on unproductive tasks in the workplace.

Part time management level careers

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More than 6 million people in the UK now choose to work part time in their career. A flexible, yet high-earning role is much easier to achieve these days.

Overturning traditional employment concepts, CEO’s, senior lawyers, directors of finance and others are choosing to go part time. It is becoming more normal for senior management to expect flexibility. Although often the extent of that flexibility is not publicised to their colleagues or outside the organisation.

Flexible working for mums has been evident in the economy for many years. But the shift in working patterns is not just working mums these days. Karen Mattison MBE, the founder of Timewise, a recruitment service specialising in part-time skilled jobs, says: “More than a third of our candidates are not mothers, and that figure is growing. Many are fathers, high-earning individuals who can survive comfortably with a reduction in salary”.

“Having children is just one of the reasons people may decide to work part-time. Some want to found their own business, go freelance, or need time to care for elderly relatives. For some, it is a lifestyle choice,” says Ms Mattison. “People are willing to forego the extra 25 per cent of salary. They would prefer to enjoy the time.”

The Covid 19 pandemic has also had an effect. Senior workers have been asked to go part time by employers trying to reduce costs. This has made it easier for these workers to make the change they were already considering. And it has allowed businesses to reap the benefits of cost reductions.

Ms Mattison expands: “It enables employers to retain their senior staff in tough times. Growing or cost-cutting businesses can still access high-level talent on a part-time basis, which otherwise would be unaffordable.”

However, those part-timers might prefer that their colleagues do not know their situation. According to a recent study, around a third would not use the word “part-time” to describe their work and 15% prefer to let their fellow workers believe that they are still full time, working from home. Employees can feel that they are not taken as seriously as full-timers and that this has negative connotations. The suggestion of ‘part time’ can mean that clients feel that their needs aren’t being met 24/7.

But times are changing, and businesses are seeing the benefits of part time roles, particularly in senior positions. This creates opportunities for some to pursue a complete career change or go freelance. They can reflect on their lifestyle and work/life balance or mentor young ones and school leavers. At the same time, they can allow the businesses to benefit from their knowledge and experience whilst reducing costs.

Once you’ve decided what career is right for you, you still have to go out and get it.

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Are you thinking about finding a new career? Here are some tips on how to market yourself effectively to employers.

Look at your motivations

The first and most important question to ask yourself is ‘what is the best career for me?’. What makes you happy? What are you interested in? It sometimes feels like an impossible task to pin down what it is you want to do, or what career is right for you. But if you can answer this question, you are far more likely to be happy and succeed in your career.

If you can’t do this by yourself, then go to a careers advice service for help. Careers Analysts’ trained career counsellors are experts in helping you uncover what career is perfect for you.

Create a plan

Once you have figured out the best career for you, make a plan of action. Write down your career plan in detail. Actions, timescales and other notes will help you focus, as well as giving you that feeling of satisfaction when you begin to tick things off your list!

Identify options, define your goals and develop your plan as you go along. This will help you feel in control of your job search. You will focus on your tasks better and give yourself a head start over less organised candidates!

Revise your CV

You might think your CV is fine, but the job market has changed and less and less time is given to looking over CVs. Yours needs to stand out from the crowd, and contain all the relevant information in a clear, structured way.

Waffle, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and irrelevant information are all ways that may cause your CV to be passed over without a second thought. Make sure you are giving yourself the best possible chance of an interview by tailoring your CV to each role, and ask others for their feedback. If you can find a friend that regularly recruits, or works within your chosen industry, even better!

Market yourself

If you do need help with marketing yourself, Career Analysts has an approach that helps you focus on tasks to get you in front of the right people, at the right company.

The plan involves planning, preparing, launching and monitoring your campaign, including:

  • Writing your CV and covering letters
  • Identifying opportunities and applying for them in the right manner
  • Preparing you for success at the interview stage

It’s a great way to focus and refresh your job search. Good luck!

To find out more, click here https://careeranalysts.co.uk/getting-the-job/

How can a gap year help your career?

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Taking a gap year between A-Levels and university, or travelling the world after you graduate, can have a positive effect on your future career.  Whether you travel through Europe, volunteer in Africa, Asia or South America, or pick up work experience back home, you can gain some real skills and great experience from this precious time.

Even if you are not sure what career is right for you yet, there are still a number of advantages you can get from the experience. You can:

Gain new skills

Whether it’s a new language, organisation skills or an insight into different cultures, the abilities you pick up along the way can enhance your future employability. Even the planning you undertake before you set out on your gap year shows resourcefulness that employers can appreciate.

Try out different roles

If you don’t know what you’d like from your future career, a gap year is a great time to experience different industries. Volunteering to work in different sectors, even for a short time, can help you gain perspective into what your future career could be like.

Find out more about yourself

Finding what career is best for you comes from knowing who you really are – your goals, motivations, strengths and preferences. This is the perfect time to explore what makes you tick. Push yourself to try new things, make new friends and explore. This will help you feel more attuned to who you are, and what career would suit you.

Gain work experience

If you already have a clear plan for your career, this is an ideal time to approach companies within your chosen field to undertake work experience or internships. The experience you gain now will be invaluable, not only in the knowledge that you acquire, but in the contacts that you make.

Think about your CV

While planning your trip or work experience, think ahead about your CV. As you progress through your gap year, take notes on the lessons and skills you have learned. You may not even know what you want to do yet but having a great CV that makes the most of your gap year is a great start!

Career psychometric tests can lead you to the right career for you

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A good independent careers advisor will tell you that there are a number of important factors to consider when you come to choose the right career and a fully qualified career change advisor will understand the value of using psychometric tests to unearth your real talents.

The first factor to consider is to find a career that you are really interested in or passionate about. If you can do that you are much more likely to enjoy your career and succeed at it.

Next is to find a career that suits your personality – something that presses the right buttons in your heart and provides the perfect environment for you to be working in.

Then, you want a career that is in line with your values and beliefs. Some people want to work in a career that supports the cause they believe in – others need to avoid certain careers that would be against their principles.

But perhaps the most important factor of all is that you need to play to your strengths. You need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are so that you can harness them to realise the real potential in your ideal career. This is where career aptitude tests come in.

Career aptitude tests are cleverly designed to unearth your abilities. You can imagine that certain career paths prize certain abilities. If numbers are not a strength, don’t aspire to be an accountant. If your verbal reasoning is not good, don’t try to become a lawyer. If your spatial visualisation isn’t good, don’t aim for architecture.

If you are looking for career change advice in London, you should try Career Analysts. They are a firm of career change advisors, who conduct career aptitude tests as well as all the other psychometric tests listed above.

The psychometric tests are completed by you at home first. They will take you about 5 hours to complete as there are hundreds of questions. Additionally, they will ask you for lots of information about your background, education, what work you have done so far, if any, and some other personal information.

Once you have completed all the psychometrics and the career aptitude tests, you will meet one of their Occupational Psychologists face-to-face, one-on-one, and she will show you the results of the psychometric tests and explain what they mean to you. She will also have done her research into suitable careers for you so that you can discuss those options directly with her, aiming to help you decide what career path is right for you for the next (or first) stage of your career.

The results of the psychometric tests are shown in the form of graphs.

For example, the personality graph is a bipolar graph. One characteristic measuring your self-discipline shows ‘tolerates disorder, unexacting, flexible’ at one end of the spectrum. The other extreme shows as ‘perfectionist, organised, self-disciplined’. Different personality traits – each with opposites – are measured in this way.

The values graph measures your preferences for Aesthetic, Social, Material, Influence, Rational, and Beliefs as forces that motivate you.

The career aptitude tests measure numerical, verbal and perceptual reasoning, logic, mechanical understanding and spatial visualisation. It is not your overall level of success in these tests that is important but which of them you are better at than the others.

The interest questionnaire measures your preferences for six major categories of career and each one of these is further subdivided into five more specific groups.

In the consultation, you will discuss career paths that the Occupational Psychologist believes may be suitable and practical for you, based on the results of the psychometric tests. As you talk them through, you will be able to eliminate those that don’t appeal to you or are not suitable for whatever reason, until you are left with a very small number of career options that you can investigate further and make a final career decision.

The aim of their programme is to narrow down your career options and arm you with sufficient knowledge to confidently make the right career decision. Many people keep their personal career report for a lifetime so that it becomes a point of reference for years to come.

Mature Students first need to decide what career is right for them

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The Ucas website has a dedicated section for mature students. There are many reasons for mature students studying, but most define their objectives as either to improve their career prospects or because they are passionately interested in a subject. If it is to improve career prospects, then you must ensure that you know which career is right for you. To do that, get professional careers advice using psychometric tests.

Most universities and higher education institutions are interested in widening participation and that means encouraging more mature students.

Statistically, mature students are more likely to knuckle down and enjoy their subjects because they are, by definition, mature and more responsible, and studying by choice rather than because it is expected of them. Many have worked previously and understand the frustrations stemming from dead end jobs due to lack of formal educational qualifications. A complete change of career is now the best option for them.

Ucas offers guidance about choosing careers and courses. Once you have selected the right career, choosing the right course becomes obvious. A good place to start is your local library. The Open University prospectus offers advice about every subject. Ucas also covers the entry routes offered to students and a lack of qualifications does not necessarily disbar you.

Degrees have changed over the years, and it is possible to combine very diverse subjects to attain an open degree, rather than being confined to a core subject. However, before embarking on this type of degree, it is important that you have careers advice to ensure that you are not limiting your future career choices.

Additional information is often available from universities and colleges directly. Widening participation is a key goal and institutions try to support a wide range of students through their own advice centres and student unions.

Top universities were often perceived to be those high in league tables. But if you study these tables, it becomes obvious that different league tables rate universities using different criteria. In other words, they give a different weighting to different aspects of university life. Some universities have an impressive teaching reputation whilst others value research. Some are rated particularly highly for certain disciplines. Some may afford a higher standard of university accommodation, whilst others may have excellent sports facilities. Location is a factor to consider too. Only by thoroughly researching the tables can you identify which is best for you.

One of the benefits of being a more mature student is that you may be clearer about what is important in your life, enabling you to identify your top choice university, and a path of study leading to a fulfilling career or personal development goal.

Careers Advice for those in their 20’s

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Your twenties are an ideal time to get great careers advice. You are not as naïve as your teenage years, but you’ve still got the majority of your life ahead of you.

Seeing a good careers advisor in your twenties will give you the careers advice you need to find the right career for you.

If you’re unsure about the career you’re already in, there are some questions that need to be answered. Have you picked the right career path? How does it match your goals, your skills and your qualifications? Is there any further training or education you can do that will help you to progress on to your perfect career, or will a lack of them restrain you as others advance up the career ladder?

Our programme of careers advice for those in their 20’s will take stock of what has happened to you so far, review your progress to date and create a clear career plan for your future. For the next decades of your working life, you need to know you’re on the best career path for you.

The aim of the career advice for 20’s programme is to deliver life-changing careers advice to help you choose the right career for you. We will assess your career options, appraise your development so far, evaluate your situation as it stands and then formulate a realistic strategy for the next stage of your career.

The programme starts with a suite of psychometric tests and is then followed by a face-to-face discussion with an experienced and qualified Occupational Psychologist. At this time, any difficulties or misgivings need to be seriously analysed and rectified so that you can pave the way for solid foundations for your future career.

The end product of our careers advice for 20’s programme is that you will find renewed self-confidence and the resolve that comes with understanding where and who you are. You can then look forward to a new career with your own unique career plan.

Top Tips for Writing a Great CV

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If you’re looking for your dream job, a career change or a return to work after a break, you need to get your CV in shape. Recruiting companies and managers don’t go through every CV in detail, so what can you do to make your CV stand out, and make their job a lot easier?

Here are some top tips to help you write a good CV

Keep It Simple

First things first, make your CV clear and easy to read, and keep to the facts. Don’t add in extra information that isn’t relevant. Adding information about your marital status, race, or a photo might seem useful but it could be seen as discriminatory so it’s best to leave them out.

Keep It Clear

Now is not the time to show any possible employers how many fonts you can put into your CV. Use one, keep it in black, and keep extra titles and any other emphasis or format tricks to a minimum.

Keep It Relevant

Recruiters don’t have time to wade through your job history if it bears no relation to the job you are applying for. Obviously, you don’t want to have gaps in your CV, but keep it short and to the point if the experience isn’t relevant to the position you want.

Keep It Focused

Make sure that the information you provide points to how well you would suit the position. The skills you have acquired, your experience, the courses you have attended and your qualifications – if they aren’t providing valuable evidence towards the role you want, don’t include it.

Keep It In Context

You may know the ins and outs of your last job, but the recruiter doesn’t. Make sure that you explain briefly what your previous or current employers did or does, what your role involved and how you improved either your own skills or the results of your team.

Keep It Quantifiable

Adding in numbers, figures and percentages can make it very easy for managers skimming through CVs to find out how great you are. To stand out, put down some clear achievements. 30% increase in this. 26% improvement in that.

Do you need careers advice for a change in career? Or help in marketing yourself to potential employers? Contact Career Analysts (https://www.careeranalysts.co.uk).

How psychometrics can help you choose the right career

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According to the City and Guilds Happiness index almost five million Brits suffer from ergophobia – a fear of work; that fact alone will not surprise many. However, the fact that some of the Britain’s leading bankers and lawyers are among them may come as a surprise.

There are some very important factors that make people happy in their career. They are:

  • Interests

If you can find a career in which you have an interest or passion, then you are far more likely to succeed and enjoy it.

  • Aptitudes

Your aptitudes are your strong points. To utilise them effectively and harness them to further your career you need to be aware of your relative strengths and weaknesses.

  • Personality

What is the right environment for you to work in? What is the right kind of role for you? What factors will press the buttons to motivate you in the morning and make you bounce out of bed and love your work.

  • Values

Not everyone has the same sets of values; some people believe in a commitment to society, whilst others are simply motivated to earn money. Others will have a set of beliefs which would prevent them working in certain industries.

Career Analysts measure these factors using psychometric questionnaires. They are all online and can be completed at home in your own time. They are however in some depth requiring around 5 hours to complete. This may seem a long time, but we need to go into this much depth to dig quite deeply into you, so that we can then match you up with the best career for you.

Once completed, the psychometrics are followed by a one-on-one consultation with one of our Occupational Psychologists. By that time, he or she will have seen the results of the questionnaires in the form of graphs.

The personality graph is a bipolar graph. One aspect, for instance tension, would be demonstrated at one end of the spectrum as relaxed, placid and patient whereas tense, high energy, impatient and driven would be at the opposite extreme. We measure 16 different personality traits each with opposites – where would you fall in each one?

The values graph measures ones’ preferences for Rational, Material, Aesthetic, Social, Influence and Beliefs as motivating forces.

The aptitude tests measure verbal reasoning, numerical, perceptual, spatial and mechanical, logic and attention to detail. It is not the level of success in this test which is important but which of them you are relatively strong at.

The interest inventory measures your preferences for six major categories of career and each of these are further subdivided into five more specific groups.

In the afternoon consultation we will make a series of suggestions for careers that we believe are suitable and practical for you and talk them through with you one by one. As we go through, we will eliminate those that do not appeal until we are left with a very small number of suitable and practical career options that you can investigate further and make a decision.

The aim of the programme is to arm you with sufficient knowledge to confidently make that decision now and your personal report will remain a point of reference for you to refer back to in years to come.

Do you need a career change due to circumstances beyond your control?

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Maybe you’re facing a career change because of redundancy, illness or new family commitments. Perhaps you’ve reached the end of a career in the armed forces or sport? Whatever the reason, changing career or finding a new career can be daunting.

Do you know what career is right for you for the next stage of your career? Which career will fit in with your lifestyle? What are you good at? There are many different things to consider, so let’s look at the steps you need to think about before you start.

Understand yourself better

Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know what sort of person you are and how this relates to success and happiness in your new career? If you are unsure, try using psychometrics to get the answers. If you understand where your skills lie, and what sort of person you are before approaching the job market, you can be more confident in achieving the career change that suits you. Professional careers advice is always a good option. Take a look here: www.careeranalysts.co.uk

Know your market

Research your chosen industry or the type of new career you would like. Find out where people are hiring. Networking can yield good results in your career search. Targeting businesses directly is often a good option. Sometimes, offering to work for free for a while works – you can find out more about the job and industry and build up useful contacts!

Update your CV

It may have been a while, but don’t be disheartened by the gaps in your CV. Think about the skills you have gained while out of work, any volunteering or work experience you have done and insert that into your CV, so any potential employers know what you have been up to.

Network Offline and Online

Word of mouth has always been a great way to find out about job opportunities, so get out there and talk to people. Don’t forget social networking too – a profile on LinkedIn and some interaction with groups and online communities will help you get back into ‘work mode’ and learn from others in your industry.

Research and Prepare

When it comes to the covering letter and interview, it will help your confidence to know as much as you can about the company that you are applying to, the job and the sector. Has anything changed since you were last in work? You will look professional, feel confident and be able to answer questions easily if you know as much as you can.