Category Archives: Careers

When the Career “Golden Handshake” Loses it’s Shine


I recently attended an event at the BT Centre in central London. The aim of the event was to inform young people aged 15-18 years old about the apprenticeship opportunities available within BT and the benefits of doing an apprenticeship, specifically with BT.

As the day progressed, I became aware of the emphasis that was placed on what a huge privilege it was to be in a building such as the BT headquarters where the event was being held.

It was a typical London corporate building with a security and reception desk in the entrance, multiple floors and lots of marble, glass and shiny surfaces. There was a cafe and a gymnasium onsite and constant stream of smartly dressed people passing by hurriedly. There was even a glass elevator!

The host for the day and some of the existing apprentices spoke of the benefits you get when joining the company and what a wonderful place it was to begin and develop your career.

The ultimate sign of graduate success 

I was reminded of the days when I was in my final year at university. When the pressure was on to start thinking about what I was going to do next … Read more

Is the way you feel about your job affecting your mental health?


“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” ~ Unknown

I read in an article recently that almost 50% of all illnesses in the UK are  mental health related illnesses. I was really shocked by this figure as initially it sounded remarkably high to me. As I continued reading the article, it featured interviews with several counsellors discussing the dramatic increase in the number of people they are now seeing and the variety of concerns these people have.

Bored, unfulfilled and underpaid

Unsurprisingly, one of the main areas many people were concerned with was work and employment. Many people have experienced redundancy over the past couple of years since the recession hit in 2008/2009 – me included! Others who managed to hang onto their jobs haven’t had a pay rise in that time and effectively due to inflation they’ve actually experienced a decrease in their pay. Added to this, many people have had to take on the responsibilities of colleagues that have left or been made redundant. None of this makes for a happy, fulfilled life or a calm, balanced state of mind.

Additionally, as I know through … Read more

A career change is child’s play

childs playI was recently listening to the audio book of the international bestseller, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma. The book is described on Amazon as

“An internationally bestselling fable about a spiritual journey, littered with powerful life lessons that teach us how to abandon consumerism in order to embrace destiny, live life to the full and discover joy.”

“This inspiring tale is based on the author’s own search for life’s true purpose, providing a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance and joy.”

The book is a fable and is essentially a conversation between two friends. One of the friends has just returned from a journey of spiritual enlightenment and he is sharing what he has learnt with the other friend. Part way through the book, the “enlightened” friend (Julian) speaks to the “yet to be enlightened” friend (John) about the importance of finding your purpose in life.

John says “When I was a kid I dreamed such great dreams. Often I visualised myself as a sports hero or a business tycoon. I really believed that I could do, have or be whatever I wanted to be. There were no limits on what my Read more

Can I afford to change career?

piggy bankMoney is probably the biggest concern for most of us. Primarily, how much we have coming in, and how much we have to spend on the things we like.

So it is not surprising that money is also one of the biggest concerns for people who are considering a career change.

The cost of living

Whether you are still living at home, renting a room or a property or have a mortgage, most people have to pay for where they live. On top of the cost of keeping a roof over your head, you will also have all the non-negotiable costs associated with that roof, such as gas, electricity, water and food. Additionally those of you that own your home, you may also have the costs of a million and one insurances that go with home ownership. You then no doubt have your travel expenses for going between work and home.

Then there are costs that are technically seen as luxuries, but for many are seen as essential. These include things such as broadband, home and mobile phone and satellite TV subscription.

“The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive.” ~ Coco Chanel

Hard work Read more

The Career Change Magic Pill

1373332_63879875I regularly browse the internet reading articles related to careers, happiness, health, and well-being and other interesting topics that grab my attention.

Now and again I have a read through the comments people leave on various articles and blog posts and recently I have noticed a common theme. There seem to be a lot of people feeling disheartened about a recent career change. It seems some of the people commenting decided to take a risk and leap into a completely new career.

I say leap as that seems to be exactly what they have done. Some of the people commenting expressed hostile feelings towards the author of the articles for advocating that it is possible to find a career you love. After reading a number of these comments, something became apparent to me. It seems as though these people quit their jobs hoping to transition into a new career without actually securing another job to go and worst still, without any actual experience in the new career field.

It is true that when I took voluntary redundancy back in 2009, I did so in the heart of a recession with no job to go to. It was always my intention … Read more

How To Be Happier At Work

officewomanFor many, work is the last place they would expect to find happiness, however it can be done.

Studies have found that people who are happier at work have an overall better quality of life than people who are always frustrated because of their work. So how do you be happy at work?

Firstly, and most importantly, you need to choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice.

Start by thinking positively about your work. Try avoiding the negative aspects of the office like gossips and backstabbing colleagues. Find colleagues who you get along with and who share similar interests to you.

“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

~ Albert Einstein

Next, don’t be stuck in a rut at your work. You need to take charge of your own professional development. You may not be able to grow or learn as much as your want from your current job. However, this doesn’t mean that you will not be able to grow professionally. Make specific plans about what you want to achieve and how you will go about achieving it.

Then, you could ask for feedback from … Read more