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Explore comprehensive resources and expert advice to help you navigate the complexities of career planning and development.

I’ve Been Made Redundant – What Next for my Career

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Redundancy is a traumatic time for any person and their families, but as the career market continues to be uncertain and insecure, it is an ever-present risk for many of us wondering what to do next for a career. If you have recently been made redundant, and are thinking of your career prospects or the next steps for your career, here are some tips to get you through this tough time.

Don’t take it personally

You will feel stressed, bitter and resentful. Acknowledge these feelings and move on, as they will do you no good when approaching future employers. Your career role has been made redundant, not you. Make sure you take this thought with you as you start searching for your new career.

Take a break

Don’t forget to take time to reflect on what you have achieved so far in your career. A little relaxation will help you get over the initial stress and rejection of redundancy, and focus on your next steps. Count your career achievements, not your stresses, to help you prepare for the career market.

Update your CV

It’s a good time to review and update your CV. Not only do you need to make sure you are ready for any job offers that come your way, but also this is your opportunity to analyse what you want from your career or next job. Make sure your CV reflects your career ambitions, your experience, your skills and passions.

What do you want to do for the next stage of your career?

Once you get over the shock and pain of redundancy, you can use it to get where you want to be in your career. Most of us are not completely happy with our career, and it’s unlikely that you are the exception. Have you ever considered a career change? Retraining to do a completely different career? Taking your hobby or passion to a level where it could actually become your career? This could be your chance to follow your dreams and find your ideal career.

The gender pay gap continues to distort career paths

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New analysis using figures from the Office of National Statistics has shown that the gender pay gap continues to widen, despite increasing pressure for transparency from large companies. In 2015 women in the UK take home, on average, over £5,700 less than their male counterparts.

The research, carried out by the recruitment consultancy Robert Half UK, revealed that gross annual earnings for women grew 1.4% between 2014 and 2015, compared with 1.6 % for men. This slower rate of growth raises concerns that the “stubborn” pay gap is still not shrinking.

For International Women’s Day, the agency called for all employees, regardless of gender, to be rewarded fairly and equally for their work. Recent research by the World Economic Forum has predicted that full gender parity would not be in place until at least 2133, but the latest indicators suggest it could take even longer.

Katy Tanner, director of Robert Half UK, said: “International Women’s Day provided a platform to highlight the importance of rewarding all employees fairly on the basis of their contribution to the organisation, rather than their gender or indeed any other point of difference.” She added, “Given men have on average higher salaries to begin with, the absolute difference is magnified still further.”

Women are likely to earn £300,000 less than male colleagues over their lifetimes, with a 24% deficit that takes a woman’s pay packet well below the national annual average. Figures show that the median gross pay for full-time male employees in the UK last year was £29,934, but for women it was £24,202. This is a shortfall of £5,732, or 24%.

When the divide is projected over a career of 52 years, it means a lifetime earnings of £1,556,568 for men, but just 1,258,504 for women – almost a £300,000 difference.

Unconventional tactics for a new career

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If you’re searching for a new career, it may be time to look at some unconventional tactics. If you want to pursue your dream career, you need to think big! We’ve had a look at some of the ways you can get ahead in the market for your best career path.

Wait before you apply for a job. Don’t go through the usual recruitment process if you find a job that will suit you. Research the company, find out more about them and make contact with key people. You don’t want your CV to get lost in the application process, so taking your time and making sure you stand out is a great way to get through to interview. Convey your interest – ask questions about the company before you apply, and even ask for advice about their role or industry. You could even take care not to mention the job vacancy at all, and see whether they tell you about the role.

Create your own position. Sometimes you need to approach companies first. Research your industry, think of some ideas, solutions, or how you could help companies within your remit and take the time to talk to them. It’s important that you’re not expecting a job offer to come flying at you, but that the companies notice you and what you can offer them.

Aim for the top. Don’t just wait for job vacancies to come up and apply to the HR team. Find ways of connecting with the decision makers in the company, the Managing Directors or Heads of Department, to get yourself noticed.

Establish yourself as a fan of companies you want to work for. If you know the company or companies you’re aiming to work for, make sure you’re seen as a fan. Follow their social media accounts, like and share their message and make yourself known. Your enthusiasm will put you in a great position once vacancies come up.

Refine your interview technique. Not so unconventional this one, but very important all the same. Remember to listen at job interviews, not just communicate your own message, retain eye contact and focus on your body language. Paying attention to your interviewer(s) is a very important skill and will put you in a great position when they review applicants.

How can you use Linkedin to find a good career?

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LinkedIn, the social network that focuses on business and careers, provides the ideal opportunity to make connections, find career roles and follow the companies that could make a difference to your career path. But are you using it effectively? Here’s how to make sure that your online presence accurately reflects you and your achievements, and helps you get that perfect career.

Don’t treat Linkedin like Facebook or Twitter

It’s a professional network, so it’s not the place to share a funny meme or link to a quiz. Keep your posts relevant and focussed on your career or profession.

Likewise, when making connections, ensure that there is career relevance between you and the contact you wish to connect with, and make this clear in the invitation.

Make the most of your profile

Have you written your career summary? Many people miss the opportunity to write something that accurately reflects them and their careers. Likewise, ensure that you add relevant keywords and ask colleagues, managers and those from previous jobs for recommendations. It builds a strong profile that is searchable and interesting for future contacts and even employers. Make it stand out!

Make sure you have a good, professional profile photo

A profile with a picture gets more views than one without. It also means that connections can recognise you at events or other career opportunities. Bad photos can be just as harmful as nothing at all. You need to look professional and ready to work, not sat on the beach or in a blur!

Keep your profile up to date

Don’t just update your profile when you change, or are looking for, a new career. It gives the wrong impression that you are only using the site at infrequent times, for career opportunities and not for connecting with others. Regular posts, profile updates and sharing relevant content will ensure that you get noticed and help you interact with others, keeping you at the forefront of possible employers’ – or useful influencers’ – thoughts.

Confidence is the secret to career success?

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According to a recent study, the key to a successful career is confidence, not talent. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that those who appeared more confident achieved a higher social status and did better in their careers than their peers.

So it suggests that the secret to career success is not through talent or hard work, but confidence in your abilities.

The study showed that, although more confident employees will make more mistakes in their careers and perform poorly in those careers compared to others, they would continue to be seen as hard working by their colleagues and more successful in career terms. Less confident colleagues have been shown consistently failing to spot the errors made by their more go-getting career peers.

And with the status set so high for confident people in the workplace, they are then promoted into better careers over those who are more competent, as superiors mistake their confidence for talent.

Professor Cameron Anderson, who led the research, said that those who were overconfident often sought power, fame or career success and that overconfidence was encouraged by the prospect of increased social status, respect and esteem. Within a work environment, those in possession of confidence tend to have more influence in their careers and are more admired than those who are less confident.

The study also found that those who were seen to be more confident believed sincerely in their talents. They were shown to believe they were more skilled in their careers than they actually were. As Professor Anderson stated, “Displays of confidence are given an inordinate amount of weight.”

So, what does this mean for your career? Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are finding it hard to progress in your current career:

  • Are you confident enough in your abilities to progress in your career?
  • Do you need to step up and show off your skills?
  • Are you missing colleagues’ errors because you mistakenly believe in their abilities over yours?

A great way to improve or change your career path is to find out where your talents lie. Once you know your key strengths, you can start being truly confident in your ability to do well in your career!

Will a career change affect a retirement plan?

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A career change is a serious option for many people in the current economic climate. Fluctuating life circumstances, unexpected redundancies or technology changes can lead to the necessity of a career change. But have you thought enough about how this career change will affect your retirement plans?

A midlife career change can have a huge effect on retirement planning. With almost half of the UK workforce thinking about a change in career, it’s definitely something to think about. However, the effect on financial security and a fear of failure frequently holds people back from changing careers.

A report released by the London School of Business and Finance in 2015 showed that 47% of professionals would like to change career, with 21% hoping to make a career change within the next year. Salary, a better work-life balance and improved career satisfaction are the main reasons stated in the report as to why people hoped to make a career change.

Many people looking for a career change are classified as ‘midlife’. As types of career change and people live longer, it is realistic to go through at least one career change in your working life. However, you must think hard about the financial implications and plan ahead however your career progresses.

Having a career strategy is key. Map out a projection to see what your income will be if you do change career. You might make a loss in the short term, but if a career change will eventually mean a higher salary, or a better work life balance for you with money you can comfortably live on, it’s worth making that change of career. You can always plan ahead too, making sure you have some savings or money set aside to cope with any short term changes or problems your career change may create.

Don’t forget to keep putting money aside for retirement too. Ensure that you are still contributing to a pension and try to keep you and your family financially secure.

Are you polite enough to progress in your career?

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Being rude might not just hold you back socially – a recent report in the Journal of Applied Psychology has claimed that it can affect your career as well.

The lead author of the study, Trevor Foulk, claims “rudeness has an incredibly powerful negative effect on your career” and this is reported to be a growing problem within businesses. For employers, this lack of personal and business etiquette is reported to lead to increased staff turnover, low performance, missed time, difficulty in recruiting and other career related issues.

You don’t want your lack of manners to affect your colleagues and morale. You definitely don’t want it to reduce your chances of job promotion or career progression either – so what do you need to focus on to make sure you are well mannered in your career?

Think before you speak

Before you send that hastily written email, before you quickly correct your colleague in an important meeting, and before you deliver your thoughts on a manager’s attitude to another while making your morning coffee; take your time and collect your thoughts. Is it necessary to communicate this? If it is, could you manage to put across your feelings in a subtler way, or at a different time? If you can, it will be a boost to your career hopes instead of a drag on your career development.

Remember your manners

Your career, your workplace, is just that. You need to respect others and ensure that everyone you work with is treated fairly and nicely. It is counter-productive to create conflict in your career. You can help create a fair, respectful, calm environment to work in, where everyone is happy to be there. It may also reflect back positively on you too, as these sorts of career skills are well respected in managerial careers.

It’s not always verbal

What you say is not always the issue in your career. People can quickly react unfavourably to facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. These can very easily be misinterpreted. Make sure you:

  • Check how you position yourself,
  • Maintain a healthy distance from others, ensuring you don’t invade their personal space,
  • Deliver your thoughts in a calm and rational manner.

This works both ways too – is someone else’s nonverbal messaging affecting you and your reactions? Before you respond negatively, it’s worth checking and if it is an issue it may be something to take up with your manager.

Setting your career sights high

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What typifies career success for you? Is it a high salary? Is it a career in which you are recognised and respected? Does your perfect career provide a better work-life balance? Recent research has shown that this varies, often across the gender divide, with surprising results.

The career poll, undertaken by employment firm Reed, has shown that although women want to achieve success in their careers earlier than men, they do not expect as high a salary. Men aimed for a higher salary that defined career success, but did not expect it until later in their careers. Over half of women want career success by the age of 40. This is compared to just two in five men. A third of women dreamt of being in their ideal career by the age 35.

Tom Lovell, Managing Director of Reed, stated “Achieving career success is deemed important to 51% of workers overall, yet what is most interesting from this research is what they define as indicators of career success and at what stage of their career they aim to achieve it.”

“With addressing the gender pay gap, and the career glass ceiling, high on the political agenda, it’s particularly interesting that women want to hit key career milestones earlier in their careers.”

“Flexibility is also key for women in their careers – seemingly more so than men. Interestingly, three-quarters of people don’t think they’ve achieved career success, with the average worker saying career success is eight years away. More than half believe they are not yet on the right career path to achieve career success at all.”

Defining success in your career is a key part of knowing what your dream career would be. How do you know how to achieve the right career path for you if you don’t know what you want to achieve in your career, as well as know what motivates you in your career?

Choosing the right career path is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Take a look at Career Analysts’ career programmes to find out more about discovering the best career path for you.

22 Ways to look for a new career

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Ways to look for a new career

Do you want a new career? Here are ways to begin re-examining your career path and breathe new life into your career.

Look at your motivations

What career would make you happy? What do you want to do for a career? Sometimes it feels like an impossible task to pin down what it is you want to do for a career, or what career would keep you interested. How can you know which aspects of your personality draw you towards success in one career and less likely to succeed in another career path?

Your strengths, weaknesses and motivations all have a major impact on career choice. Others will always have an outside view on what career is right for you, but what is that based on? What career you should be aiming for needs to be based on something more scientific than that.

Targeted careers advice will help. Career Analysts trained career counselors are experts combining career sector knowledge with career profiling and assessment techniques (psychometric tests) to ensure that you get the most comprehensive careers advice to suit you.

Create a career plan

Having taken career advice, write down actions, timescales and other notes to help you focus. It will give you that feeling of satisfaction when you begin to tick things off your list!

Identify career options and define your career goals to help you feel in control of your career plan. Focus on your career plan to 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. They need to stand out, and contain maximum 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 career role, and ask others for their feedback. If you can find a friend that regularly recruits, or works within your chosen career path, even better!

Market yourself

Career Analysts works with people at an individual, flexible level to help them market themselves for their chosen careers. It’s a great approach that helps you focus on tasks, and getting yourself in front of the right people; at the right company.

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

  • Setting objectives and tasks to get you into your chosen career
  • Identifying the various routes into the job market
  • Writing a great CV
  • Interview techniques training
  • And more
  • It’s a great way to focus on your career and refresh your job search. Good luck!

Is insecurity the norm in modern careers?

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In former times, when you were looking for a new career, you would normally have been looking for a long term career. The word career implies a lifetime of work and of progress, and many want a vocation that suits their long term career goals. However, in today’s career market many of us do not have such career security.

A recent revision of official figures showed that nearly 583,000 employees – more than double the government’s original estimate – had to sign up to zero-hours contracts last year. This is three times higher than the figure for 2010, showing a massive rise in employees with diminished legal career rights and even fewer benefits.

Zero-hours contracts allow employers to hire staff without any obligation to guarantee a minimum number of working hours, hence the term ‘zero-hours’. This provides no security or guaranteed wage to employees. People agree to be available for work as and when required, but have no guaranteed hours or times of work. They are used widely in the social care sector, by many retailers and hotels.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, 200,000 workers in the United Kingdom reported that they were on zero-hour contracts. In 2013, such contracts were prevalent in many parts of the UK economy:

  • in the hotels and restaurants sector, 19% of all workplaces (up from 4% in 2004)
  • in the health sector, 13% (up from 7%)
  • in the education sector, 10% (up from 1%)

For domiciliary care workers, the incidence was reported to be as high as 55.7% of all career care workers during the period 2008-14.

Indeed, there have been suggestions that the Office of National Statistics might still be underestimating the figure. Unite, for example, has cited research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) stating that 1 million career workers are on the contracts. This may be because employees themselves do not understand the contracts they are on, and do not disclose that information when questioned. The union states “Unite believes that, in general, zero-hours contracts are unfair, creating insecurity and exploitation for many ordinary people struggling to get by.”

Zero hour contracts do provide

flexibility for some, but these tend to be in groups such as students. When there is a mortgage to pay and child care to organise, these contracts can be restrictive and uncertain. It is however, the way a number of large corporations choose to hire their staff.

The shadow business secretary accused ministers last year of burying their heads in the sand at the extent of the problem after the social care minister said that there were 370,000 zero-hours contracts in the care sector alone. There were concerns that the ONS figures were underestimating the number of zero-hours contracts.

It is feared that some workers were not telling the surveyors about their zero-hours contracts simply because they did not understand what they were. He said in a letter: “It is evident that there are some risks of such estimates being too low due to individuals not describing their working arrangement as being a ‘zero-hours’ contract to the interviewer.”

The Business Secretary said: “These figures provide welcome clarity over the number of people in this type of employment. While zero-hour contracts provide flexibility for some, it is also clear that there has been some abuse. This is why I launched a consultation at the end of last year to help root out abuse – like tackling the problems around exclusivity of contracts with a single employer”.

“While Labour sat on their hands for 13 years and did nothing about it, we’re doing something about it. The government’s consultation closes this Friday and I’d urge union, employers and employees to respond so we can sort this problem out.”

The Secretary pledged to crack down on “exclusivity clauses” that prevent staff on zero-hours contracts working elsewhere. He spoke of how he would act against “abusive practices in zero-hours contracts”.

But Labour believes it has an even tougher approach. They told the TUC last year that they would ban the exploitation of workers on zero-hours contracts by banning employers from insisting employees on the contracts are available even when there is no guarantee of any work, ending “exclusivity clauses” and stopping the use of the contracts when employees are in practice working regular hours.