“ Are you a Career Advisor or Counsellor? Tell us about your experiences of the job here. „
I thought I would write some first thoughts about how to cope with your first position of authority in the work place. It can be a very strange transition t have to go through, from being one of the team in a work place, on an equal footing to everyone else in the work place pecking order, the old them andus culture however when you then become a supervisor or one of the management team it can be a strange experience and a very challenging one.
I think that as a manager you have to accept that you cannot please everyone all of the time and if you start out as hoping to be everyone friend then you are probably doomed to fail. What you do need to be is consistent with the people you work with and treat everyone the same.
It is very important that you are a good communicator and that you are able to give clear instructions, both verbal and written however just as importantly you have to be a good listener and able to get ideas ad feedback from your team as often they will be the ones with the best ideas or maybe closer to the customer.
Finally as a manager you have to be organised and spend time planning ahead, you have to be firm but fair with people and show them the respect that you expect to receive back from them. Sometimes you have to make hard decisions but then that is all part of being the boss and partly what you are getting paid for.
Due to the high number of EU offices in Brussels, work is relatively easy to come by, and as far as it goes, you can pick up some very good summer jobs in Brussels as a result. Of course, part of the thing that guarantees you good pay is your knowledge of English as a native speaker, as you are often working in English speaking environments. However, that being said, a foreign language to a high level (A Level or beyond) certainly opens doors for you. Some interim bureaux (temping agencies) actually demand a foreign language, especially if you want to do anything more than photocopying in a multi-national company. Whilst many eurosceptics might think that Brussels is living hell, if you are prepared to work hard as a mercenary you can avoid having to doing anything involving the EU, although there are a remarkable number of companies tied in with the EU operations, and the twelve stars of evil adorn nigh on every company logo. I had been staying in Plymouth for so long that I wanted to smash my brother's face in. I was so frustrated and bored. So I went out to Belgium on the hoof in July 1998 and due to the successful time I had working, went back even though I ended up hating Brussels as a place (that?s another story). If you are looking for a cheap flat, then be prepared to go into a ?Kot? - a student hovel, which can be had for about 7-8,000 BEF (£115-130) a month, and which abound throughout Brussels. There are always places for rent, and over the summer, many landlords are happy to have someone occupying their kots, which are otherwise empty. In the short term, a kot can save you a lot of money over living in a flat on your own. If you are only there for the short term, I would actually advise against you registering at your local ?Commune? because it is a waste of time, and also money on occasions. The first time I was in Brussels the failed Eurocrats tried to fleece me for a sum close to £500, just for the privilege of living in Brussels
. I needed a form for the agency that I was working through, but at that price, I some let the clerk now what I thought about it all. Dependent on where you live in Brussels also determines whether all paperwork is done in Dutch (Flemish) or in French, and moving between a Dutch speaking commune and a French speaking commune can be a bureaucratic nightmare. The truth is that they are mainly trying it on, and this is one thing to watch out for, with corruption in administration being rife. They will try and make out you have to pay for this that and the other, when you really don?t need to. Fortunately there are plenty of agencies available and they will help you get settled in, although a lot of student summer jobs tend to be for a month only, due to complications on temporary contracts. I managed to get around this by being taken on as a temp and firing my CV around the company saying that I was available for other summer jobs. As a result I spent 7 weeks at one company, and then went back on a three-month contract the following summer. If you are looking for bar work or waiting jobs, then a lot of the Interim Bureaux specialise in ?HORECA? - Hotel, Restaurant and Café work, and there are a lot of agencies between Rogier and De Brouckère worth trying, and similarly on Avenue Louise. I went to Avenue Louise Interim and they were highly professional, and found me a very good job very quickly. Other jobs on offer include temping, office work, manufacturing jobs and data entry. It is advisable to make sure that you have knowledge of MS Word and MS Excel as a minimum, although the more packages that you know, the better. I would have to recommend that if you are job-seeking in Belgium, that you make sure you are contactable and a mobile phone can be a very sensible investment. If you already have a handset, then you outlay can be vastly diminished, as there a lot of prepaid SIM only deals. I spent two summers on a Mobistar prepaid tariff (call
ed Tempo) and found that the service was good. Bear in mind that if you have to get a handset, you tend to buy it outright in Belgium, although there are assorted second hand mobile phone stores. In order to earn in Belgium you require a social security number, and this is easily attainable though an Interim Bureau, who will do the spadework, so that you get paid. One advantage of going through an Interim Bureau is that you are paid weekly rather than monthly. Of course there can be problems if you have a very successful summer. In 7 weeks, I earned 149,000 Belgian Francs (that?s close to £2,500!) and was within 1000 Francs of the tax free limit. Once you go over the 150,000 Franc limit you can expect punitive taxation. To give you an idea of how back this is, the following summer, to earn 150,000 BEF I had to earn nearly 250,000 BEF (that?s about 40% taxation! OUCH!!!). Banking is a bit of a lottery, and the Général de Banque (now the Fortis Group) proved to be pretty incompetent. Other banks are equally inflexible, being shut during lunch hours, and generally stupid and with poor Customer Service, although friends have been fairly complimentary about the service offered by the Crédit Communal. It may be worth setting up a Euro account in Great Britain, as this will allow you to keep the costs of a money transfer down, so that you don?t end up handing over as much to your bank as they would like you to. You are entitled to ?Cheques de Répas? - 45 BEF a day which are part of your remuneration, and you should make sure that you claim them, as they can pay for a lot of shopping for you, and are accepted more or less everywhere (in particularly at GB and other large supermarkets as well as at restaurants). They are however usually dished out a month in arrears. If you are settling in Belgium you may want to think about fixed line phone. Once the chimpanzees at Belgacom have connected you, do the decent thing and get on board with one of the A
lternative Operators, as they offer much cheaper calls. Belgacom are also renowned for their shocking customer service (the gratuitous baby-kissing on their website is an indictment of this! Publicly seen as benign, but absolutely shocking in reality!) There are assorted prepaid cards such as XL available from nigh on every shop in Brussels, which are good value solutions for calling abroad, or there are alternative operators such as: If you are signing a contract, it is your right to get a copy in English of it. I had to sign my contract in Dutch and English, and spent ten days of sending it back and forth to correct it. Be very careful before signing a contract in Brussels, as you are often signing away a lot more than you think. Try and get a transport allowance included (even if it only subsidised the cost of travelling to work) and see if you can get some training in various IT packages whilst you are there, as this will help you no end. An EU based job will probably have the advantage that you will be able to have a rapidly formed social life, as full time employees sometimes don?t like mixing with ?lowly? temps. Otherwise head in to the centre of town and you?ll soon me English speakers, if you haven?t had enough of them at work! One final consideration is whether to work bank holidays or not (i.e. are you in it for the money!) and my advice would be if you are on a fixed money wage, then take them off. If you are going through a temping agency you can often get paid time and a half to double time, and you can exploit it by working longer that week anyway to bump up your overtime. Such a ploy once earnt me 30,000 BEF in a week (£500 approx.)
The Princes Trust is a scheme aimed at people between the ages of 16 and 25. The people in the course are supposed to be a mixture of unemployed (for whom the goverment pays) and employed people (who their companies pay for). In charge in the team leader. This is also a relatively young person. Ours was excellent, always helpful and cheerful and NOT patronising (very important!) It is a 12 week course split up into different sections. I took part in the scheme in my year out before university, so I wasn't really doing the scheme with a view to helping me get a job, but I still found it useful. I had had a few jobs in my year out but had either quit or been sacked because I found them totally unstimulating and felt like a robot. When I heard about this course I thought it sounded interesting and would give me something extra to put on my CV. The idea of the scheme is to improve personal skills such as confidence, team work and motivation, and to help young people into jobs with their new skills and experience. The Princes Trust actually has links with employers who take on people after finishing the course. I won't go through what we did each separate week as that will take forever but I will tell you about the main parts of the course. The Residential took place in the second week of the course. This week was spent in the Peak District in Derbyshire taking part in various out door activities. I found this week quite difficult, not least because it was the beginning of February, therefore freezing! It was also strange to go away with 16 people who I had known for only a week. I think the idea is to plunge you straight in and see how you cope. We stayed in a self catering hostel and so we had to provide our own meals and clean up after ourselves. We had some cracking meals, including an authentic curry and a lovely chinese stir-fry! The activities were great, especially rock climbing and abseiling. I imagine that the residential wo
uld be a lot more fun done in the Summer though. The group project must be something in the local community that needs doing. The group has to totally fund the project and complete it in two weeks. After a lot of ringing around, we found a project redesigning a local nursery's garden and redecorating some of the interior of the same nursery. We decided on two fundraising ideas. We had a talented artist in our team, who drew peoples portraits for money. Our main fundraiser was a sponsored event; sleeping overnight in a graveyard. I have to say I didn't enjoy this at all. It was freezing cold and very creepy. We raised a lot of money though so it was worth it. I found the nursery project to be a bit of a disappointment. Some of the team worked very hard to make it a success, digging up the garden in the freezing cold and turning up every day. Others didn't work so hard though and that was annoying. We heard a few weeks later that the nursery didn't like our work and were going to get professionals in. This was a big blow for our team, as we had raised all the money for the materials and worked hard. Well if I ever have kids, I know I won't be sending them to that nursery! We also had to do two weeks work placement as part of the course which we had to organise ourselves. Mine was in the students union of the college where the course was based. I had wanted to work in a theatre or newspaper but they were all booked up with school placements. Pah! Anyway, I actually really enjoyed my placement. I had to make a display for the RSPCA which involved researching on the internet, designing the display and mounting it all. I also had to man the office a few times. The job involved a lot of variety and campaigning. One of the weeks was called "Next Steps" and was aimed at giving the unemployed members of the team a good chance in future employment through giving us interview techniques and CV workshops.
We also did a one day first aid course, which is helpful for any job, and a food hygeine exam. I found this week really well planned and helpful as I go to pot in interviews and never know what to say when they ask awkward questions. They had professionals come in to work with us in the workshops which was great. The last few weeks of the scheme were taken up by the final team challenge. This is meant to be taking out a certain group in the community (children, old people, or disabled people) on trips. We didn't have a chance to raise any more money though so we went to a local day centre and helped out there, entertaining the old people. I found this a bit embarrassing to be honest as we had to sing old songs like "We'll meet again", but the old people seemed to enjoy it which is what counts. The scheme finishes with a presentation by the team, attended by guests of the team and anyone with an interest in the Princes Trust such as employment workers and teachers. Each member of the team had to talk about a certain aspect of the course and what they had got out of it. I'm quite confident so this was okay for me, but others in the team had never spoken in front of an audience and found it a big challenge. It was great to help them through it and watch them speaking at the front. There was a great atmosphere at the presentation and we were all presented with certificates. Although I didn't feel the course was aimed at me, as I wasn't looking to go into employment, I still felt it worthwhile. It was certainly better than me lazing around at home watching "This Morning" at any rate. When you are unemployed it can be very demeaning and depressing. On my course were many talented and intelligent individuals who had simply let the system get them down and given up trying to find an interesting job. I recommend this course to any young person who is finding it difficult to get a job as you will
make new friends, get some qualifications and have a great time. What's more, it doesn't cost you anything, and you can still receive any benefits whilst on the Princes Trust scheme. I even managed to claim back my bus fare to college (I did have to get 3 buses there and 3 back). The best parts of the course were-the activities on the residential, the work placement, doing up the nursery and the presentation at the end. The worst parts were: unmotivated people letting the team down, not being able to get a group project. So now you know what some of your money goes towards when you go to a party in the park. I think it is a well worth cause.
I was reading and rating a few opinions the other day and stumbled upon a couple in the category of bullying at school. My reasons for doing this seemed a little odd at first I suppose, as to be honest I normally only read opinions in the categories I’m most interested in (music, travel, books, etc.) when the time I can actually spend on dooyoo is limited. However, as I am generally (and genuinely) interested in personal interpretations of subject matter, I still continued to read on. Luckily, I was never bullied at school and have never ‘specifically’ thought of myself as either being bullied or as being a ‘victim’ at all until I read further into the opinions and grasped the true concept of the word ‘bullying’ and then - it clicked! Yes, I have been a bullying victim and so have a lot of other people I know. And it’s never just something that happens in school – it can happen anywhere in various contexts. WARNING – A LOT OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE ENTERS HERE SO IF YOU ARE THE TYPE TO GET EASILY BORED WHEN SOMEONE TALKS ABOUT THEMSELVES – SWITCH OFF NOW!!! My own experience of being bullied unfortunately occurred in the workplace and on two separate occasions. In both circumstances, the situations were spookily similar, but particular to me. I started my first job in marketing three days after graduating from my first degree. I don’t know if I was actually ‘looking forward’ to working after years of studying but it was something I had to do to pay the bills as living in London can’t be done on thin air alone. That said, I was happy about the job I would be doing – it was a graduate job, in a large international company and my two (female) bosses seemed really ‘nice’. At that point, that was enough to naively make me want to take the job (I wasn’t a cynic then!) – along with the fact, of course, that I’d be earning mo
re than my poverty-stricken student loan and parental allowances! Things seemed to go smoothly in the job; in fact they went very smoothly indeed. I did well on everything I was ‘supposed’ to do, made some good contacts, sold repeat business contracts to clients, completed work before deadlines, did more and more ‘training’ and was happy to make the coffees. I was unfulfilled though – this wasn’t an intellectual or professional job but, at the same time, it was doing wonders for my overdraft (isn’t that what jobs are for?) - so I was content enough until a certain point. I tend to be a very intuitive person and progressively it seemed to be that the more competent and popular I became, the more ‘unpopular’ I seemed to become in the eyes of my ‘female’ (and the concept of female is important (to me) in all this) bosses. At the time, I didn’t know if it was paranoia but I started to be watched like a hawk, consequently making me start to feel like a little mouse, again the concept of ‘feeling’ is hard to define but is an important element in this. As my presence grew within the confines of the building this only intensified and when I eventually won a company award and a few hundred quid bonus for my efforts this finally came to a head when a meeting with my bosses confirmed to me what they were thinking about me. Totally unprecedented, I was told from kind-of out of nowhere that they thought that (and I know these are random reasons but I’ll quote them from their horse-like mouths): 1. My speech was too eloquent and my language too flowery for marketing – I would have to tone it down. 2. I had an attitude problem - I would have to stop being so ambitious in the company (folks – I had NO particular ambitions in the company – I’m NOT a pushy person, just a hard-worker and I’ve never stepped on anyone’s toes in my
whole life). 3. My skirts were too short and from them I was gaining too much male attention (folks – I hate wearing short skirts and believe me I have NEVER done anything like this to do the aforementioned – saying that – I wouldn’t know how to flirt with clothing if I tried, combat trousers are my clothing ‘du jour’). In all, my bosses actually suggested on top of these reasons that I should work ‘less hard’ and try to keep a lower profile with my work in addition to, apparently, my appearance. As you can imagine, the merely conscientious over-achiever in me didn’t know how to take this and tears in the toilet were (at the time) the only acceptable way out. My bosses took my major accounts off me and left me with crap and being on the cusp of turning 23 I decided to simply bugger off to America on a company-sponsored transfer and save my own soul – I obviously had nothing to lose and was young enough to have no commitments. By luck and youth, I finally got away and it was comparatively easy – although there was something already about the ‘female boss syndrome’ that came from out of nowhere and left a bad taste on my tongue! After returning from the States, I ‘foolishly’ took another job in a similar set-up of marketing company. In hindsight, I think I must have been mad because almost a carbon copy of events happened. Again, my two bosses ended up being female and for whatever reason I ended up being bullied/victimised or simply a scapegoat (again). A short catalogue of errors done to me included ‘experiences’ when: 1. My bosses told me that I should wear MORE make-up to work. (Sorry, but I’m a ‘natural’ gal and ten coats of Polyfilla does not suit me – DOES IT ANYONE?!) 2. After finding a lump in my breast, I was ‘advised’ that it was nothing to worry about and that it would be completel
y unsuitable to take time off in the week for a medical appointment or breast scan. When I had such an appointment, I later found out from the office secretary that my bosses awaited London-bound and return trains as they presumed I was job seeking. 3. My manager tore out a selection of jobs from the local press for me to apply to as she found ‘my presence too ambitious for the ‘‘rest of the office’ culture’. Demeaning and undemocratic to say the least! This all said, somehow I ended up classifying my bullying rightly or wrongly so in the female against female category – something I have made sure will be a avoidable condition in future work settings wherever possible. In a bit of a conclusion though, through these and other unquoted, often more serious, work scenarios, I know that any kind of activity that can be ‘compartmentalised’ into bullying of any kind can offshoot a load of adjectives that the victim him/herself feels. Through bullying it is easy to feel lonely, useless, unloved, unlovable, stupid, worthless, etc. often ending up with the victim feeling like a complete and utter zero in life. And since this op is about ‘member advice’ on this issue, then I have just one main thing to say. In a situation of bullying, the fortunate or unfortunate thing that always comes out in the wash is that the victim of bullying always feels exactly like that – a victim – a complete, utter and solid victim. And with such a strong sensation of feeling like this, the victim is conversely in a strong position to sort it out. As relevant to my ‘bullying in the workplace’ issue my major advice to anyone who finds themselves felling ‘trapped’ in this rut is simply to get out (quick) if and wherever possible. Work is a place where the worker should be allowed to grow, achieve, blossom, etc. in an environment which supports the wishes and potential of the i
ndividual - it–is not a place to be or to feel stunted. If something or moreover ‘somebody’ makes your life hell in what should be a everyday, familiar and normal situation – then, up and leave if you are lucky enough to be able to and can cope with the practicalities. Mental sanity is, after all, worth it! Nothing is worth a living hell for the sake of the sick and insensitive minds of a few individuals – do everything you can to ultimately believe in yourself and make a change that suits yourself (better). Talking to HR departments and such like in larger, more anonymous companies may be appropriate but only you would know. In any case, if you feel that you are being victimised in any way, shape or form, most companies are increasingly often prepared to deal with such ‘problems’ through their personnel departments and should be equipped to deal with any problems that hinder the ‘normal’ work environment. By the way, if anyone has experienced similar female to female competitiveness/ bitchiness/ bullying in the work environment, then I’d be extremely interested in your comments/advice/reviews, etc. A genuine thanks for reading here and don’t EVER let anyone stand in your way!
This opinion is aimed at those of you who are considering starting your own business. It is intended as a brief guide into a complex subject, just to give you a taster of what's to come! There is never a perfect time to start a new venture; there are always dangers to be wary of, but the real secret is to have a viable venture that is well thought out and structured in order to keep the risks to a minimum. A few years ago, those people who started up their own business were thought of as either very brave or foolhardy. Nowadays, with redundancies and early retirement in just about every job, the entrepreneur with his own established business has perhaps the most secure career of all - at least no one can sack him! And if he is successful, he may well have something of value to sell when it is time to retire or pass on a profitable business to his children. Of course, it is not all plain sailing by any means. There are initially a lot of things to take into consideration, and the very idea of 'being in sole charge' is something that some people will worry about. So you need to be the type of person to take the helm, be happy and confident in making your own decisions, be enthusiastic and believe in yourself. Running your own successful business can be exhilarating and addictive. I have previously mentioned that your venture needs to be a viable proposition and you will have carried out market research into this. You should also give consideration as to the best structure to adopt. Do you want to be a sole trader? Or a partnership? Or a limited company? Each of these has its own pros and cons, and there can be substantial differences in terms of the operating costs. Think it out carefully and get the best possible advice. It is also important to consider banking arrangements. Most important is the bank's attitude to small businesses and starting up arrangements. Talk to your bank manager, he is
there to help you. Not least of your concerns should be the position regarding employing staff. This is a subject with a minefield of law attached to it, and you can find yourself shouldering responsibilities you didn't even know existed! And don't forget the National Minimum Wage! Accountancy is another area that you need to get right. Choose an accountancy firm that can give you a lot of advice and support particularly in the early stages, dealing with business plans, cashflow forecasts etc. Insurance is always important so make sure you engage a good broker who can find you the cover you need at a reasonable price to keep your business assets safe. There are loads of rules and regulations that you may need to check out depending on the nature of your business, such as Health and Safety, Food Hygiene, Licensing, Planning Consent, Fire Regulations etc etc. There is only one way you will ever find out if the business lifestyle suits you - and that's by trying it. Don't leap in head first as this will lead to failure. Do it carefully and properly and with all the help and support you can get. Good luck Janna
Are you unhappy at work? Are you dreading going in each day? Is it affecting life at home? Do you feel like you are going nowhere fast? Are you in a dead-end job? Do you feel like a worthless employee? Do you feel that you are stuck in a rut - get up, go to work, come home go to bed and so on? Did you answer YES to ANY of these questions - then do something about it. I did and it was the best decision that I have ever made!!! Let me start at the beginning as often that is the best place to begin. Since having my son, who is now nine years, I have more or less worked part-time - the hours fit in while my son is at school. So since having my daughter who is now seventeen months old, I saw no reason for this to change. Partly because I felt I needed to and also really having to as every little bit of money helps, and because it was only part-time I felt that I really wasn’t missing too much of my daughter growing up. I have an excellent Childminder who is very accommodating (see op), so I was lucky enough to be able to return to work. Now although I have done a little shop work - predominantly, I have been used to working in an office (not that there is anything wrong with shop work I - hasten to add). I have done various office jobs from being a receptionist to doing accounts which I was doing at my last position, which mostly I have enjoyed - until recently, at my last job. I really did start to dread going in to work, and the weekend used to by so quick before it would be that dreaded Monday again. Unfortunately, I’m the sort of person who tries to be loyal to a Company, and will stick with most things, however unhappy it might make me. Also I didn’t think that that I would be able to find another job that was within school hours. It really was starting to drag me down and with having a young family aswell, I was beginning to feel that I couldn’t cope. ALL I CAN SAY IS MOR
E FOOL ME!!! After one particular hard day, I decided enough was enough. It was time for me to do something about it - something had to give and it was finally me. I finally left my job and I felt such relief! Such a burden seemed to have been lifted my shoulders, but unfortunately a new burden reared its ugly head - I had no job and I needed to work to help pay the bills. I didn’t want to leave it all for my husband to pay. Also while not working and not bringing any money in, I still had to pay the Childminder as so to keep my daughters place with her, which was only right, but didn’t help our situation!! I left my job on the Thursday evening and on the Friday morning I went straight up to the local job centre. I wanted to get back into work as soon as possible, and so picked various job details up that interested me. These were mainly shop work details, which as I said previously didn’t bother me, although they only pay on average minimum pay - which is better than nothing! I was going to be grateful for anything. As apart from alot of experience in office and also abit in the retail industry, I didn’t really have alot of other qualifications. Among the details I had picked up, a local Dentists were advertising for a Dental Nurse, for two full days a week. It requested that experience would be preferable, and so I didn’t really think twice about it, as I had no experience in this field whatsoever. However, if it wasn’t for the kind gentleman in the Job Centre, that was going through my enquiries for the various different jobs that I had picked out that interested me, I would have never have taken it any further. He encouraged me to call in and see them and pick up and application form. As I was already in town and the Dentists in question was only round the corner decided to do just that. When I got there I filled in an application form and was then asked if I would like to spend Monday morning with
them, watching and having a look at what the job entailed. I had nothing to lose, as my daughter would still be going to the Childminders anyway. When Monday came I was really excited and the morning passed all to quick, nothing that I witnessed put me off applying for the job, although to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect, but while I was there it was alot harder than I though it would be - quite a complex job that if I was lucky enough to get it, I was worried whether I would be capable of being able to do it. After my work experience, I was informed that I would probably hear on the following Thursday as to whether they wanted me to come back for a second interview. My fingers were crossed. In the meantime, while I was waiting to hear about the Dentist, I applied for another job - a Showroom Administrator, at a local Kitchen company. This was also Part-time and would fit in perfectly with my children. I had an interview and was told that they were interviewing all week and would possibly make a decision at the end of the week, that suited me as I thought that would give me time to hear about the Dentist job. What I didn’t bargain for was the following day to be offered the position. I know it sounds ungrateful, but I felt quite disappointed. I knew in my heart of hearts that really I didn’t stand a chance of getting the Dentist job. I was due to go in the following weekend to finalise the details of working for the Kitchen Company. So imagine my utter surprise when on the Thursday, the Dentists rang requesting that I go in for a second interview on the Monday, it was between me and somebody else. Panic stations - what was I going to do! I had been offered a job that I wasn’t too keen on, but was beginning to grow on me all the time and the job I really wanted and that would be a great career for me, I had to get through another interview. I managed to postpone the Kitchen Company, after hearing some n
ot very pleasant things about them, whether they were true or not, I decided to go all out to get the job at the Dentists, as I had just come out of a job that had messed me about. It was now going to be my turn - it was about time I thought of myself for a change. I have never been so nervous at an interview, as I was interviewed in front of four people. By the time I came out, I felt like a nervous wreck, and I was told that I would hear that night whether I had been successful or not. Well you guessed it - I got it. I just couldn’t believe it, I felt like I had won the Lottery. To me just getting through the interview was an achievement in itself, never mind to be offered the job aswell. Things like that don’t normally happen to me. I applied for two jobs and was lucky enough to get both of them. I started at the Dentists at the end of June and while I have been training I have been working full-time, which has been very tiring (that is why you haven’t seen much of me on Dooyoo just recently). It had been such hard work, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. I wished I had done something sooner. The girls that I work with are really brilliant; they have made me feel like part of the team. They all pull together when needed and are all willing to help each other out when needed. In fact its more like one big family, I have never worked anywhere like it!!! Working there is like a breath of fresh air. The moral of this story is that it is NEVER too late, as I have proved. If you are UNHAPPY at work, you have a choice, life is too short to be unhappy and in a dead end job. If there is a job that you really want, go for it - you have nothing to lose. If it can happen to me, honestly it can happen to you. GO ON - CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER - I did, and I don’t regret it for a moment.
Anybody who is still at school will no doubt have been pestered by the teacher appointed "Careers Advisor" (note: in inverted commas as it is just a title - asking you what you want to do after you leave school, going "Hmmm" after you answer and asking "Ever thought about teaching ?" does not really constitute advice). When asked what I wanted to work as when you left school I would always reply "A lollypop man" (person who helps the kids cross the road outside schools). This would always produce a look of puzzlement from the teacher who would immediately ask why that was and I would simply reply with a big smirk "It means I don't have to start working until I'm sixty-five" (most are very old). Needless to say they left me alone after that. (O.K. not a real opinion I know, and I will understand if you give me not usefuls but it does keep those pesky "Careers Advisors" away from you and in my books that is a good thing and useful advice. And I really wanted to share that with you. You can read some of my other opinions if you want just to prove that all my others are proper ones.)
This association stands for every woman living in Fife. It is a Fife Council service and it helps people to take part in the community and access opportunities in employment, education and learning. They will help to plan out a positve way forward, give you a chance to strike out in a new direction, create a new career, secure a promotion at work, discover new interests. They have a dedicated team of careers and guidance staff, and they will be happy to talk through any aspect of your career. They will also help you to improve your prospects for employment, they will offer information and guidance for people of all ages to gain entry into colleges and universities, or help you to build your skills or new ones, or hand you different information leaflets you would need. They also have an approach to the problem of returning long-term unemployment back to the labour market providing support to community level. If you need basic skill training or vocational training it is the place to go for getting started. I phoned them up and they arranged a suitable time for me to come along to discuss. It is a one to one meeting and you also will be offered tea or coffee… I explained my situation and unfortunately the lady working there couldn’ t be of any help: I had already gathered all the information I needed…But I can tell you that she knew what she was talking about and if I had the chance to ask for help before I wouldn’t have struggled that much for getting all the information. And they will keep in touch with you just to make sure you are getting on OK or if you need further help. So whether you are a single mother wanting to get back into work, or just a woman wanting to change her career or learn new skills, or if you just want information on craft workshops, childcare … or if you don’ t know where to start the @dvance is the right place to head for.
Can I just putr in a few short words in praise of my employers Sheffield wildlife Trust I know its unusual but you do not have to read this just pay me the money. Sheffield wildlife Trust run a very large number of activities ranging from wildlife surveys to entertainment and education for children. In addition it is a very good place to work so thank you for the new job and pay rise. I am now working on the brand new nature reserves project gathering ecological and other information on the nine sheffield wildlife trust nature reserves. thank you as well to the national lotter heritage lottery fund for providing the funds to raise my salary from the breadline. ps ignore the price it was required by the stupid computer
After leaving collage i wanted to look for a job so for advice went to the job centre. I made appointment and spoke to a advisor who was no help at all she basically told do what you like. She then took me to the jobs board in which they were only 23 jobs to choose from with 12 of them cleaning jobs, this was a waste of a afternoon and i gained no help from the experiance. COULD ANY RECCOMEND ANY WHERE ELSE
I have always been dubious about careers advisers. I think that they are graduates of something indistinct who can't decide what to do with themselves after college and so go into careers advising, not the best people to advise you, really. However, my own bias aside, they can be very useful. I never found them very useful at school as I wanted to be an actress in my teens and all they told me was that I wouldn't earn any money, have a pension or get redundancy. They have changed a lot over the years though ..... These days, if you are unhappy with your job and/or your company and you really don't know whether you want more of the same or a complete change of scene, they can help firm up some ideas in your mind. They are especially useful if you need to re-train as they can help you with course and grant applications. Usually linked to job centres, careers advisers can input all of your details (experience, qualifications, interests, hobbies, anything you are particularly good at) into a computer package and it can print out a list of careers that may interest you. I have to say that many of them require specialist qualifications so you would have to retrain, but often they are simply jobs for companies that you hadn't thought of, or hadn't thought you would be very good at. Careers advisers aren't the best for people who want jobs (note the difference between a career and a job). I never wanted a career in admin. but I do have an intersting job in admin. My careers adviser wouldn't have told me to follow a career in admin. but it suits me well enough. If you want a job, read the paper. If you want a career, think about re-training and contact your local job centre.