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S.U.R.F. your way to a new career

… By Katherine Wiid of Recrion & Career Ambitions, specialist in Career Management, Recruitment and Retention.

Earlier this month, Katherine Wiid opened our CamAW1SE Conference with an intriguing talk titled ‘From Label to Able’. And rather than leaving delegates drowning in information, they discovered a new approach to their careers and job search that would leave them riding high on the choppy waves of the job market…

 

S.U.R.F. your way to a new career…

Do you at times have doubts about whether your skills, experiences and qualifications are relevant for the local job market?

Often when I meet a client for career coaching for the first time, they say things like, “I’m a C++ programmer but I haven’t got all the latest languages like Rust and Swift, so I’m not getting any interviews.”

And there’s the problem. They’ve been caught in the label trap – seeing themselves as a set of skills on a job description. Candidates often see their applications getting rejected, with no feedback to help them improve their applications. Often candidates tell me it’s as if their CVs are going into a machine that strips their carefully crafted experience and skills into a series of ticks and crosses, translating to ‘not a good match’.

But we are all much more than a list of skills. We just need to look beyond the check list, see past the labels and identify what we have to offer a potential employer beyond their job description.

Learn to S.U.R.F.

What does surfing have to do with your job search? To change careers, start afresh and tackle the choppy job market, we need to have a balanced approach so that we can ride the rough with the smooth…

S = Skills
If you ask yourself “what do you do?” you’ll probably instinctively answer with a label. But is that all you are? Can you not be something else also?

Labels narrow down our options. Don’t assume that your qualifications speak for themselves. I see too many career professionals with impressive qualifications who fail to see what those skills actually enable them to do, beyond the label.

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Ask yourself:
• What did I learn that has added to my skill set?
• How does the experience allow me to offer something different in a market flooded with qualified people?
• How do I use or hope to use this qualification?

To master the art of S.U.R.F.ing we need to be skillful at identifying our skills. One of the main reasons that people aren’t motivated in their careers is because they only see half the skills they have. They only really develop and use a quarter of those skills, and they only put a fraction of them on their CVs! No wonder those CV machines are coming back as ‘not a good match’…

To uncover your hidden skills and talents, think about and write down:
• The activities you enjoyed at school / university / in your spare time. Everything we read and learn about in our own time – not just when studying – gives us new skills
• Think about how you do what you do. From day to day how do you manage your home, family, work, social life? You might be a great organiser or the person who comes up with the ideas!

It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you’ve got!

U = Unconscious

How many of your skills are unconscious, undeveloped, undiscovered? Knowing yourself and what drives you at a deeper unconscious level is one of the most attractive qualities in a candidate.

If we aren’t consciously aware of what motivates us we can end up working in an environment where we are not challenged or passionate about we do. This can knock our confidence and lead to a wasted, unfulfilled life.

To help you become more consciously aware of your unconscious motivations here are three questions to ask yourself:
• What’s important to me and has to be in my work?
• What gives me the greatest buzz at work
• If all jobs paid the same what would I do?

Remember, it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you’ve got!

R = Relevant

As you are learning to S.U.R.F. you will become skillful at assessing your skills and tapping into what unconsciously motivates you. Now it’s time to make these new discoveries relevant to the job market. How can your unique skills, experiences and passions be of use to the hundreds of companies seeking new talent? How can you help them to choose you?

To do this, we’ll need to step into the shoes of the employer. If you see a job you like the look of, but they’re asking for a skill you don’t obviously have, don’t reject it. Employers aren’t always able to articulate exactly what they want and job descriptions aren’t always accurate. Ask yourself, why do they need this? What problem will it solve?

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Try doing a SWOT analysis, which will help you to understand the context of the job within the company and within that market. What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are the external opportunities and threats for the organization? Now do the same exercise on yourself. What are the strengths you have that might minimize their weaknesses and threats? What have you got that will enable them to take advantage of an opportunity.

Now tailor your CV and cover letter to address what might be going through their minds when they are assessing you. This will set you apart as you are answering the problem posed by the job, showing them how skillful you are without necessarily having the exact skill they thought they needed!

Remember, it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you’ve got!

F = Flexible

To be able to S.U.R.F. well, you need to be flexible and see yourself and the job market with fresh eyes.

For you, that might mean experimenting with new career ideas, trialing new roles and being prepared to make mistakes. Ensure your mistakes are positive steps in your learning.

Flexibility for you might not be sitting and waiting for that career opportunity to come knocking, but to increase the odds in your favour by learning to think openly, being curious, asking decision makers for 30 minutes of their time to give you an insight into what they do. Be alert to the possibility that your skills and motivations might be suited to a job that didn’t even exist.

Remember, it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what’s you got!

Effective S.U.R.F.ing is about finding a career that works for you, matching what you’ve got and who you are with the life you are going to lead.

Believe me, there are jobs hiding behind every wave, you just have to get up and S.U.R.F. them! Enjoy the ride…

Relaunch your career: First talk tease.

From Label to Able

The most attractive quality in anyone is to know yourself – your strengths, motivations and how you can make a difference. Katherine Wiid, a Cambridge based Career Management Coach who specialises in career motivation, will help delegates consider themselves with fresh eyes not just as a “returner to work” or a “trailing spouse”.

Katherine believes that it is not what you’ve got – it’s what you do with what you’ve got!

katherine wiid

Katherine Wiid

Hear from Katherine among other speakers during the Relaunch your career event. Read more here

Booking is now closed

November 4th 2017,  British Antarctic Survey’s Aurora Center

British Antarctic Survey’s Aurora Center

Coffee break, Tea break, Lunch, and materials included.

 

With the collaboration of

BAS_colour

Meet the Steering Group – Isabel Tingay

isabel

Isabel Tingay

What is your current profession/background?

I hold a PhD in Chemistry and currently work at an International Chemicals company, developing after-treatment solutions for the automotive industry. I apply my knowledge and skills to the creation of next generation catalysts.  I started in research and followed this with a move to development. This involves working with customers to understand their requirements, turning these into development projects.

What point in your life led you to pursue a career in STEM?

I have always had a keen interest in how things work; one of my earliest memories is finding a bird skeleton in the garden and working out how it functioned and fitted together!  I was fortunate to be taught by two very inspirational chemistry teachers at school who sparked off and encouraged my interest in chemistry.

 

What is one of your biggest aspirations?

To use science to improve the environment and human health.  I spent a year in a research lab in France studying marine sediments for pollutants. This was both thoroughly enjoyable and the turning point in my decision of how I was to apply my scientific background in my career.  I have continued this through my work, reducing pollution from trucks and buses.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring female scientists and engineers?

Follow what interests you and what you love doing.  Seek out a mentor and offer mentoring to others.  Actively manage your career at all times.  And most importantly, science and engineering are fascinating and constantly changing subjects, so enjoy!

 

How have you benefited from being a part of CAMAWiSE?

I have been a member of CAMAWiSE for a couple of years and it has been wonderful to meet fellow STEM professionals with similar interests and experiences.  The workshops have been complementary to the training I have received through my job and have given me additional tools to use for personal development.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I have completed the Cambridge half marathon and fit in exercise whenever I can.  I have an allotment and love spending a Sunday afternoon digging, weeding and growing unusual produce.  I even grew award-winning pumpkins this year!

 

Ask me about …

Automotive catalysis, spot the truck and name the catalyst (!), and balancing a career with having children.

Relaunch your career November 4th

Are you looking to change careers but have no idea where to start?

Have you taken a career break and are looking for advice and support on how to re-enter the workforce?

Have you relocated because of your significant other and now find yourself unemployed?

poster2

We have a special event just for. On November 4th 2017, at the British Antarctic Survey’s Aurora Center, we will be hosting ‘Relaunch Your Career’.

We aim to give you the tools, confidence and support system to take that first step. A full day of training for women with a background in Science, Technology, IT, Engineering, Maths, and Medicine, it will include expert speakers, workshops and plenty of networking opportunities.

We invite all women, regardless of your career stage, to take advantage of this incredible event.

JI_BritishAntartic_C02

Aurora Centre

The morning will be devoted to talks from experts about identifying your skills, job flexibility, confidence, negotiation and more and the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the speakers.

Following a lunch break, we will have workshops to give you hands-on experience on creating an online presence, crafting your CV, finding your career anchors and more.

Finally, we have organised an inspirational woman in STEM career panel so you can hear from women who were in your situation and how they coped. Learn from their successes and failures and feel supported.

Schedule

From 9:00 Registration
Networking
9:30-9:45 Welcome BAS & CamAWiSE.
10: 00 First session From Label to able by Katherine Wiid

How to Shine When Returning to Work by Claire Button

11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Second session Job sharing in STEM by Sara Horsfall

Confidence and negotiation  by Christina Youell

12:30 Lunch break
14:30 Workshops Self-Promote Through Your CV – re-write your CV to kick-start your dream career: with Claire Button

Careers Anchors, identify your strengths & values with by Tennie Videler

Getting noticed on LinkedIn and online presence with Catherine Sorbara

15:30 Tea break
16:00 Panel and Q&A Chaired by Jenny Brookman.

Sarah Bearpark – Returner

Ruchi Chauhan – Relocated from the USA

Claire MacDonald – Former Attendee

Catherine Onley – Returner

Ruchi Sharma – Career changer

17:00 Networking 
18:00 End of conference

Booking is now closed!

November 4th 2017,  British Antarctic Survey’s Aurora Center

British Antarctic Survey’s Aurora Center

Coffee break, Tea break, Lunch, and materials included.

Members £35

Non-Members £45

Event + Membership  ££60

With the collaboration of

BAS_colour

September Social 2017

Join us as every year in the CamAWiSE September social. An opportunity to start the 2017/2018 season with a relaxed networking opportunity.

poster

Please reserve your place at Eventbrite. It’s important to know the numbers!.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/camawise-september-social-2017-tickets-37541590909

And as always, share, email and print the poster.

 

 

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