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Book Review: The Compass and The Radar
April 2, 2020
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The Art of Building a Rewarding Career While Remaining True to Yourself by Paolo Gallo

The Compass and The Radar is an engaging book which gives readers practical advice on how to build their career successfully. Unlike other books, though, it also prompts us to consider the price we are prepared to pay to be successful.

The Compass and the Radar

Written by Paolo Gallo, much of the content is drawn on the author’s experience in Human Resources. During his career, Gallo was CRO at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, the Chief Learning Officer at the World Bank in Washington DC and the HRD at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London – so he has a lot of experience to draw upon. Much of what he shares is from observing interviews, promotion boards, coaching individuals and other experiences many of the readers of HR Director will be familiar with.

At the start of the book, Gallo prompts readers to stop and reflect on what is important to them in their career – something that many people don’t do often enough. He reminds us to think creatively, to fight for what we want and to weigh up options from different perspectives in order to think more deeply about this topic. There is a useful coaching exercise readers can go through which prompts them to stop and reflect on questions such as “what am I passionate about?” or “what gives me joy and energy?” as well as “what do I believe in?”

Once the reader has establishes what is important for them in their careers, Gallo then walks us through different stages of the employee lifecycle. Using the analogy of arriving at a village that is right for us, he gives advice on how to successfully get a job and covers things like having a professional LinkedIn profile and building your network to help secure a post. He reminds readers that it is important to do your research when applying for roles and that interviews are a two way process where both parties are assessing if they want to contract.

Once you have secured a new role or “entered the village” Gallo then covers topics such as the importance of listening and asking questions and of building trust with your new colleagues and being savvy about reading the organisation. He reminds us that the official structure of the organisation is often not the real structure – it is important to take time to work out where the power and influence really lie.  He also stresses that hard work alone will not make us successful – it is also crucial to have a positive relationship with your boss and to be clear on what is expected of you, as well as taking time to understand the culture of the organisation. “Only those who really understand the culture of an organisation have a serious opportunity for growth and development within it” he writes, before sharing anecdotes of individuals who were technically strong but who failed to succeed because they misread their surroundings. Many of the stories will resonate with HR professionals who will have witnessed similar successes and failures in their own organisations.

 He also stresses the importance of not just what you do but how you do it. Reflecting on his experience of facilitating hundreds of management sessions to consider promotions, he writes “in any organisation it is not just what we do – the results – but above all how we do it, our behaviour, our ability to adapt to the rules of the game.”

The author also covers the importance of being able to judge when it is time to leave an organisation and how crucial it is to do so with grace, respect and good manners, such that your reputation and credibility remain intact. To make the point, Gallo contrasts this with the well known case of Greg Smith who resigned from his company by writing a letter to the New York Times entitled “Why I left Goldman Sachs.”

As well as guiding the readers through key career decision points, Gallo challenges us to think about the price people pay for a successful career – in terms of stress, depression, illness and divorce, for example. By way of illustration, he shares the story of Eugene O’Kelly who was the CEO of the consulting firm KPMG. O’Kelly chose to write a book about his life the day that the doctor diagnosed him with a terminal brain tumour. Gallo writes of the book “ In every line of this extraordinary story there is a feeling of pride for a career that is nothing short of splendid, but also the sense of lost time, unspoken words, kisses not given, skipped dinners, forgotten children…”

Importantly he also reminds us how fleeting power can be and uses his first hand experience of working at the well known Davos annual meeting organised by the World Economic Forum in Switzerland every year. During the event the international elite meet – presidents, ministers, CEOs of the world’s top companies, Nobel Prize winners, academics, and religious leaders. Having worked at Davos for four years, Gallo observes that whilst everyone who attends the event is powerful, that power can easily be taken away by disenchanted voters, shareholders or other decision makers for example and that there is a “longevity of power.”

The Radar and the Compass is an easy book to read and is filled with anecdotes not just from the author’s own illustrious career but from the worlds of sport, politics, literature and popular culture. Given that much of the content is pulled from Gallo’s experience in the HR profession and from sharing some “tricks of the trade” with the readers, much of the book may be less insightful for seasoned HR professionals (albeit there is often value in stopping and reflecting on some of the points Gallo makes.) I would, however, recommend this book to individuals starting out in their career, at a decision point in their career, or as a useful tool to reflect and take stock on your career to date and the sacrifices you have made to achieve your success.

Review by Adele Swan, Senior People Consultant and Executive Coach, Standard Life Investments

Published by Bloomsbury

Book Review: What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
March 27, 2020
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With more than 10 million copies sold in 28 countries, the world’s most popular job-search book is updated for 2019, tailoring Richard Bolles’s long-trusted guidance with up-to-the-minute information and advice for today’s job-hunters and career-changers.

In today’s complex job-market, the time-tested advice of What Color Is Your Parachute? is needed more than ever.

Recent grads facing a changing economic landscape, workers laid off mid-career, and people searching for an inspiring work-life change all look to career guru Richard N. Bolles for support, encouragement, and advice on which job-hunt strategies workand which don’t.

This revised edition combines classic elements like the famed Flower Exercise with updated tips on social media and search tactics.

Bolles demystifies the entire job-search process, from writing resumes to interviewing to networking, expertly guiding job-hunters toward their dream job.

The book walks you through every step of the process, from designing your resume to networking and figuring out which careers make sense for your personality style.

Careermap & The Careers and Enterprise Company Free CPD Webinar
October 7, 2019
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Careermap in collaboration with The Careers and Enterprise Company are hosting a live webinar aiming to help schools and colleges to achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks so they can begin applying them to their Careers Strategy.

This informative webinar will take place on Wednesday 16 October 2019 at 4pm

It’s completely free to join and thanks to technology, you can join anywhere, all you’ll need is a WiFi and a device which can be connected to it. Book below but don’t forget to come back to find out more about what the event will entail. 

Once you have booked you’ll later receive the login details closer to the time. Have a question? Want more information? You can email info@careermap.co.uk to find out more! 

Christine Hodgson Chairman of The Careers and Enterprise Company and CEO of Capgemini will be speaking at this event and sharing invaluable insights on how Career Leaders and teachers can create a careers programme which is stable (Gatsby Benchmark #1). 

What Will the Webinar Include?

The Careers and Enterprise webinar will include a detailed explanation focusing on how you can embed a stable careers programme which pinpoints the key principles of career education and guidance and how you can ensure pupils, teachers, employers and parents fully understand it. The CPD webinar event will also include:

  • An introduction from Sharon Walpole, Careermap Director
  • An introduction to Christine Hodgson, Chairman of The Careers and Enterprise Company
  • What is involved in a stable careers programme
  • How this can be included in day to day lessons
  • A review of the resources The CEC has available to support Careers Leaders
  • Opportunity for you to take part in the discussion and lead the way with a live Q&A

Sign Up Here

International ViewPoint: Strategies for Working Effectively with Clients Who Have Disabilities
September 20, 2019
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The following article by Malou Twyna – a Career Counsellor at the University of Toronto Mississauga, was first published by CareerWise who helps people working in career development across Canada stay up to date on the top news and trends.

As an Employment Specialist working with people with disabilities, I will always remember my first client who had schizophrenia.

Before we started our work together, I was excited and anxious as well. I had worked with clients with a variety of mental-health concerns before, but schizophrenia sounded serious, challenging and, honestly, a bit scary. The many stereotypes and stigma surrounding the illness made me wonder if this would be a good experience for either of us or if I would even be able to help him find a direction and implement a plan.

Malou Twyna

Despite my lack of experience and nerves, and his differences from my other clients, we concluded our work together when he was hired by his preferred employer and transitioned well to his job. I credit most of our success to his drive to succeed, passion for his chosen area of employment and ability to take advice and implement action steps. In the intervening 15 years of experience working with people with disabilities around career and employment, I realize how much I have learned about being human and helping others professionally.

In my current role as a Career Counsellor at the University of Toronto Mississauga, I join my colleagues in Accessibility Services one day a week as an Integrated Counsellor. Working with students receiving academic accommodations due to a wide array of disability concerns continues to be stimulating and eye-opening. As we move through the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) compliance process and embrace a more inclusive and equitable world of work, I hope some of my insights on ways to help people with disabilities around career and employment will be useful to you.

The elephant in the room?

Disability in the counselling space can hover around the edges of a conversation as an awkward, taboo subject that neither party feels comfortable broaching. As was the case with my client with schizophrenia, social stigma can reside in both the counsellor and client. Knowing if a student has a disability and how it affects them can inform all aspects of career work such as:

  • Helping to set job goals based on strengths
  • Co-developing workable strategies to build skills and experience
  • Teaching job search skills and customizing approaches to attaining opportunities
  • Supporting clients in adjusting to new work situations

Open discussions around these issues can be key to seeing a client with a disability achieve career success. Despite this, it’s hard to know whether to and when to signal our openness and comfort talking about it, and (more importantly) gauge if and when the client is. Here are some strategies to navigate the sometimes-tricky waters of conversations around career and disability.

If possible, have a frame

Sending an overt signal through marketing your service that you are open to these discussions is very useful. My frame of “Career Counselling for students receiving Accessibility Services” sends the message that I am comfortable and that this area of discussion is welcomed. Signals can be less overt than this such as: creating positive marketing messages to clients with disabilities and their allies, displaying a disability-positive poster in your space (here are some posters focused on post-secondary students), and making your space accessible and welcoming to those with disabilities. Make sure your program registration info and your email signature invite requests for accommodations. These small signals can set the tone for more direct and comfortable conversations around disability issues.

Accommodate your client’s needs

Making people with disabilities comfortable and helping them to get the most out of your services starts with asking them if they need any accommodations. I have found many have been reluctant to get what they need as they don’t want to make waves or get special treatment. Considering they may not have disclosed a disability yet and that moving to this topic immediately is not the best way to build a solid rapport; asking in a more friendly and informal tone can work better. For example: “Before we begin, is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable here or meet your needs better?” As you get to know the client, observe what seems to be working for them and what might be a problem. Examples include: “I noticed you seem to squint a bit when we are using the computer together. Can I move the monitor closer or magnify the text?” or “I noticed you seem less comfortable as our appointments progress and are holding your back. Do you need to take a break to stand up or move around?”

Once a client knows what you mean by accommodations and are serious about providing them, they may be more likely to ask for what they need. If they have disclosed a disability impact but they are unsure of what accommodations might be useful in session or in their community-based activities, check JAN’s SOAR (Searchable Online Accommodation Resource) to learn more.

The relationship is everything

Meaningful conversations around disability, and any barriers and concerns it might present, depend on developing a positive and trusting connection with the client. The best way to do this is to go back to counselling basics: unconditional positive high regard; non-expert stance; transparency about the steps and actions that could be taken; affirming the client’s strengths; and promoting client agency and control over the process. From this solid foundation, a wider variety of topics can be opened and more direct questions can be asked with little risk of damage to the counselling relationship.

Always ask

What are the best questions to ask someone with a disability? The kinds of questions you’d ask of anyone trying to find their career path! You know: questions about the kind of life they envision for themselves, what they value in a career, and what is meaningful and interesting to them. Ask lots of questions about their strengths and achievements – identifying and affirming strengths is especially important for clients with disabilities to counter any stigma on both sides.  Celebrating strengths can be part of establishing trust and for them to know that “you get them” and appreciate them as people first and foremost. I

In most cases, exploring whether discussions around the client’s disability are relevant would come later. If you want to probe if disability concerns are present for the client, I’d recommend asking: “Do you have any concerns about the impact of your disability on your career success (job search, interview etc.)?” and/or “Would it be helpful for me to know more about this / how your disability impacts you?”

Forget what you know

No two people with the same disability have the same experience. Your previous experience with a client with a particular disability may not be very helpful to the next client with the same diagnosis and could be counterproductive. Using previous client situations as a template may result in incorrect assumptions that can limit rapport and shut down dialogue. When taking a referral from another counsellor or organization, try going in with fresh eyes and do not review the client’s case notes substantially (if your organization’s process permits this). Being curious about their lived experiences and being direct can be respectful – if you are confident and ask good questions.

Talk about disclosure

If your clients seems uncomfortable with questions around disability barriers, affirm their right to non-disclosure. This is a great opportunity to explain more about disclosure and accommodations and their right to not disclose in your work with them and beyond.  Becoming knowledgeable about this topic can signal to the client that you can support them to make disclosure and accommodations decisions as a jobseeker, student or employee. A great resource for this is in the UTM Career Centre’s Accessibility Pages.

Get their feedback

Periodically, inquire if the help they are getting is in line with their goals and expectations for coming to see you. Ask them to give some honest feedback on how the sessions could be more helpful to them. Encourage their agency and efficacy by asking them to set the focus each session on what they want to accomplish. For those who have issues with executive functioning, organization or memory, spend some time together before the start of the session brainstorming what they want to accomplish. Providing a copy of your session notes with steps agreed on can enhance client agency and demonstrate your commitment to transparency.

Reflect and debrief

Working with people with disabilities adds levels of diversity and intersectionality that can present great potential for skills growth and profound sense of accomplishment for both the counsellor and client. That being said, sometimes it can be very straightforward, too! That is the beauty of it – it keeps you on your toes and open to whatever the client brings. Returning to the theme of ‘counselling skills 101’, self-reflection on successes and less than successes and learning from them (either alone, with a supervisor or mentor, or in a staff debrief situation) is the key to working well and helping your clients reach their next level of wellness in their careers and life journeys.

Malou Twynam, Career Counsellor. Twynam earned her Master of Education in Counselling Psychology in addition to a previous Master’s Degree in Sociology. Prior to joining the team at the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Career Centre, she worked for 10 years in career services in the not-for-profit sector assisting persons with disabilities to achieve their career goals. She has also worked as a vocational rehabilitation consultant and has provided psychotherapy to post-secondary students and adults in community and private practice setting. Twynam enjoys helping people discover their unique gifts and strengths, explore career possibilities to make confident career decisions. Her greatest satisfaction comes from seeing someone surpass their own expectations and achieve what they assumed was not possible for them.

14 Best Sites for Taking Online Classes to Boost Skills
September 4, 2019
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If you, your colleagues or your clients are looking to pick up a new skill, then an on-line course may be appropriate. They are shorter than a college course, they’re typically self-regulated, and they cover just about every skill, topic, or hobby you can possibly imagine.

But with this luxury comes great responsibility—mainly, the task of finding a site that works best for you.

Below is a list of resources that offer free, cheap, and quality classes right here on the internet.

Now all you have to do is sign up for one!

1. ALISON

ALISON has a large range of free, comprehensive classes on financial literacy, personal and soft skills, digital skills, entrepreneurship and then some. It targets all kinds of learners, from professionals and managers to teachers and freelancers.

2. Udemy

Udemy has plenty to offer for the learner on a budget, from completely free courses taught by experts, professors, entrepreneurs, and professionals, to frequent discounts and class specials. In addition to classes in tech, business, and marketing, you can also explore options in productivity, health, hobbies, and lifestyle.

3. Coursera

If you want to receive a college education without the high cost of tuition, Coursera is the best stop. This website offers amazing courses in all kinds of fields, from professional development to psychology, history, and literature—all created and taught by professors at top institutions nationally and across the globe. Their universities include Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and plenty more.

4. edX

Just like Coursera, edX offers anyone, anywhere the chance to take university classes in various departments—and get certified. Some of their big partners include Harvard, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago (and that’s not all!).

5. Udacity

Udacity focuses on software development, offering free courses in programming, data science, and web development. The website also offers a nanodegree program for individuals who want to master a skillset or pursue a full-time career in tech.

6. Lynda

By subscribing to Lynda, you’ll have access to thousands of courses in business, design, art, education, and tech. And it offers a free 10-day trial so you can test the waters!

7. General Assembly

General Assembly offers both online and in-person classes, as well as full-time and part-time options. It focuses mainly on digital skills, covering subjects such as digital marketing, iOS and Android development, data analytics, and JavaScript.

8. Skillshare

Skillshare provides “bite-sized” classes to learners who only have 15 minutes a day. It has over 500 free classes and several thousand premium classes to choose from in topics such as film, writing, tech, lifestyle, and more.

9. LearnSmart

LearnSmart’s orientated toward career development, which is why it’s a great place to learn about IT and security, project management, Office, HR, and business.

10. Codecademy

Codecademy wants to teach you how to, well, code—and for free. It covers all kinds of programming, including JavaScript, Ruby, HTML, CSS, and Python.

11. Pluralsight

After subscribing to Pluralsight (or using its free trial!), you’ll be able to explore classes in software, 3D development, VFX, design, game design, web design, and CAD software.

12. Adobe TV

Not sure how to use Photoshop or InDesign? Don’t worry, Adobe TV will walk you through all its programs with tutorials, manuals, and more.

13. FutureLearn

FutureLearn’s completely free, with classes taught by universities and special organizations. Its big topics are business and management, creative arts, law, health, politics, science, digital skills, sports and leisure, and teaching.

14. Academic Earth

And if you’re looking solely for academic classes, this website is perfect for you. It has courses in the arts, science, humanities, economics, computer science, and more, all for free.

Still don’t know where to start? Try Class Central—it personalizes your class search by asking you from the get-go what you’re interested in learning and from whom. Then, it pairs you with options from Coursera, edX, and other forums to find what best suits your needs, making the process even easier!

Education Secretary Confirms T Level Roll-Out from September 2020
June 19, 2019
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The second wave of FE providers announced to teach T Levels from 2021 – bringing the total to over 100.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds confirmed on 18th June that new T Level qualifications will become a reality from September 2020, as a second wave of further education providers are announced to deliver courses from 2021.

The move signals a major step forward in Mr Hinds’ 10-year ambition to overhaul technical education, and is further demonstration of the Government’s commitment to give more young people access to high-quality training opportunities so they can secure rewarding careers. Read more

The Canadian Journal of Career Development
February 12, 2019
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The Canadian Journal of Career Development is a partnership project between CERIC and Memorial University of Newfoundland with the support of the Counselling Foundation of Canada.

In this issue

 

The University of Exeter Career Mentor Scheme

The University of Exeter is expanding its Career Mentor Scheme and is seeking new career mentors from the region and further afield.

Now in its 10th year, the Career Mentor Scheme is a popular employability programme which matches current students or graduates with experienced professionals, for one-to-one support, sector insight and advice for up to 6 months.

They have mentors from a range of different sectors, based both across the UK and internationally, who volunteer to mentor a student interested in pursuing a similar career in the future.

If you would like to be part of the next scheme, starting in November 2018 and running through until April 2019, please complete the online mentor application form (it takes approximately 15mins) by the closing date: Friday 24th August 2018.

Contact Sarah, Rebecca or Jo from the Career Mentoring Team directly on 01392 722034 or at careermentorscheme@exeter.ac.uk

Free ERSA Webinar: Neurodiversity in Employment Support – What You Need to Know
July 27, 2018
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Thursday 2nd August 2018 | 12 – 1pm. This webinar will discuss some basic information about neurodiversity and what aspects need to be considered when developing contract solutions. It will provide an opportunity for shared discussion.

Neurodiversity-a key consideration for contract development in prisons, with NEETs, and in Youth, Work and Health settings.

In recent times the term Neurodiversity has been used as a term encompassing 1 in 8 individuals in the general population, 1 in 4 in the unemployed and 1 in 3 in the prison population who may have some specific barriers to engaging in learning and gaining employment.

These include conditions such as ADHD; Autism Spectrum Disorder ( Condition), Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Developmental language disorders. The term ‘Hidden impairments’ have also been used as an umbrella term as the challenges may not always be obvious to others.

There is also increasing interest in the potential skills and talents that individuals can showcase if appropriately supported and reasonable adjustments made.

Read more

Using FE Data in Careers Decision Making (Free Webinar for CDI Members)

Tuesday 31st July1:30 pm 

The DfE provides a number of tools and data sets related to FE quality that can help inform decisions by learners on what programme of study they may should follow, and which provider they may choose. This webinar aims to support Careers Advisers identify and use some of these tools and data sets and explain how they can be used.

The discussion will focus upon the DfE’s Outcome Based Success Measures (the destinations and earnings of adult learners and apprenticeships) but it will also include an outline of FE Choices, Qualification Achievement Tables and the Compare School and Colleges Website.

This webinar, presented by Richard Watson of the Policy (Performance and Quality), Quality, College Improvement and SponsorshipTeam, Careers and Further Education Group, will be of interest to all career advisers and career leaders working in the FE sector in England.

This event is free for CDI members and £40 for non-members.