The journey to setting up a vintage inspired clothing line www.alicespig.com

Nicolai Schuemann - Entrepreneur & Cass Business School MBA alumnus Why I find Nico inspiring is that he has tried a lot of different things – before settling on his current path. I sometimes get asked if you have tried lots of things whether this is a disadvantage? Certainly in this case Nico has used his past experiences to shape what he does today. An interesting journey from co-founder of a story development company for movies to completing a MBA at Cass Business School. Following a...


A recruiter tells us what makes a good CV - if you are changing sector

Derek made the industry change from a cleaning company to a company in the healthcare industry supplying over-the-counter prescription drugs and vitamin supplements. The company had grown in turnover in the last four years from £3 million to £14million  - which suited Derek as he was looking to move into an Operations Manager role in healthcare which he felt gave him more challenges and opportunity following his MBA. The Recruiter who hired him told me why his CV went to the top of the pile: ...


Beware of recruitment agencies sending out your CV without telling you

Best practice dictates that recruitment agencies tell candidates which company they are sending their CV to. In reality this often doesn’t happen, sometimes leading to the situation where a company has received the candidate’s CV twice, once direct from the candidate and once via an agency. At the extreme this can lead to a CV being sent to a company of which the candidate is currently employed – ouch! Some companies will have a logging system for CV’s and so if a CV comes in direct from...


Interview with Jane Kenyon – a serial entrepreneur, founder of www.wellheeleddivas.com and social enterprise www.girlsoutloud.org.uk

I am always on the look out for inspiring people and I jumped at the chance to interview Jane Kenyon. Here is a recording I made of the interview and below are some highlights, in case you don’t have time to listen to it.  Listen to the interview now After a privileged upbringing, the middle child of a self made millionaire, Jane got kicked out of home at the age of 16. She built a successful corporate career culminating in Marketing Brand Director for a big multinational training company....


More examples of competency based questions

Here are some more examples of competency based questions for you to practice. Don't forget the STAR structure (Situation, Task, Action, Result) as a framework for your answer. Flexibility/handling ambiguity Describe a situation where you have felt under pressure. How did you handle that pressure? What type of situations outside work lead you to feeling out of control? What are your coping strategies? How have you helped to lead a team through uncertainty or ambiguity to achieve an appropriate...


New Years Resolutions? How not to fail by the end of January

Take Action It’s that time of year again where many of us will review the past year and sit down to plan what we want to achieve in the coming year. Goal setting has had a bit of negative press recently and from my experience the way you set goals can dramatically improve your chance of attaining them.  While I agree with Derek Sivers, founder of CD baby (which he sold for $22 million), that you need to focus more on the process and less on the outcome, I also draw from Professor Richard...


My favourite motivational book of 2013, what’s yours?

What does it take to be really successful? A young girl asked Richard St John this on a plane and he realized although he had achieved considerable success himself, he didn't know the answer to her question. So he set out upon a ten-year quest to find the answer.  His book ‘The 8 traits successful people have in common, 8 to be great’ distills the research over those ten years into the principle 8 main areas, which leads to success. Richard completed 500 face-to-face interviews with...


Focus - what distinguishes experts from amateurs and stars from average performers

I admit I find it hard to focus.  I know I am not alone in this struggle and in the last couple of years smart phones have made staying focused even harder. So when I was sent this YouTube video from a friend who works at IMD, it served as a timely reminder as my thoughts start to turn to what I want to achieve next year on how I need to redouble my efforts to focus. Daniel Goleman is an expert in emotional intelligence and his recent book Focus, the hidden driver of excellence combines...


If not now, when?

My colleague and I were laughing recently about how in our recruitment days we would smirk over cheesy headlines in job ads such as ‘New Year, New Job?’ or ‘New Year, Time for a Change? Jokes aside both summer holidays and the more obvious New Year often makes us reflect on how things are and what changes we need to make both in our personal lives and in our work. There are other life events that make us take stock too, significant birthdays and the death of someone close.  As a career...


Career Farm feature in the Financial Times

This week I was really pleased to be asked by the Financial Times to comment on the unfair demands placed on our free time by our employers and organisations. Where do I begin?  First, you need to be on solid ground. “If you’re doing an outstanding job, you’ll be able to say ‘I’m going home on time because I’m hitting all my targets,’” says Fergus O’Connell, author of The Power of Doing Less. Jane Barrett, founder of the Career Farm coaching consultancy, adds: “Do a bit...