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With over 10 years of experience within recruitment firms ranging from FTSE 250 companies through to niche sector specific service offerings. I now head up the marketing operations for Pro-Group, working closely with the leadership team to deliver UK wide marketing initiatives to drive brand recognition, customer loyalty and lead generation.
Outside of work, I love to travel! I spend a lot of time exploring all of the wonders London has to offer. You’ll also find me taking random road trips around the UK in the weekends.
If you've ever quit your job, you probably followed the correct processes and left in a quiet and dignified manner, in line with the advice "don't burn bridges" - which is always the best idea! There are so many examples of job-quitting scenes in movies where Hollywood manages to dramatise people leaving their jobs, often with comedic effect. However, even within these dramatic movie scenes, there are some valuable lessons to be learned - here are some of our favourites! 1. Jerry Maguire In one of the least humble and most erratic exit scene, Jerry Maguire causes a huge scene and declares that he practically built the company, before dramatically scooping the fish out of their tank and asking who wants to come with him. This leads him to start his own management firm with single mother Dorothy Boyd who is the only person from the office who leaves with him, and they end up falling in love. What do we learn? Although Jerry Maguire is actually let go and doesn't exactly quit his job, we can still learn a lot from this scene and the movie in general. Sometimes one job might not work out the way you thought it would, but it can open up new opportunities that change your career path in a positive way. And sometimes it's worth taking risks! It might be scary to leave a job without knowing the outcome, but sometimes taking the plunge and following your instincts can work out for the best. 2. The Devil Wears Prada Andy Sach's job-quitting scene in The Devil Wears Prada is possibly one of the most uplifting scenes out there! We follow her story at Runway magazine - not fitting in, overworking herself, and changing her personality for a job she's not suited to. Undervalued and unhappy, she walks away from her uber-successful and powerful boss, throws her non-stop mobile into a fountain in Paris, and doesn't look back. What do we learn? Sometimes, it can be easier to stay in a job that isn't right for you just because it seems like the best option, and the only way to get where you want to be. And it can undoubtedly be nerve-wracking to finally admit that you need a change of working environment. However, you often find that once you take the leap and leave a job that makes you unhappy, it can be the best thing for you! It gives you a chance to be yourself and follow your dream career. And as it works out, her boss gives her a glowing recommendation to every publisher in New York City - so maybe even the worst bosses aren't all bad in the end... 3. Office Space There's a lot of job dissatisfaction in Office Space, and working as a waitress in a restaurant that expects too much of her and constantly tells her she should have more 'flair', Joanna finally has enough. She flips and fully expresses herself, and the scene concludes with her telling her jobsworth boss that ‘I hate this job and I don’t need it!’ - that's a bold way to quit! What do we learn? It's clear that Joanna doesn't really follow the advice "don't burn bridges" - but this is Hollywood right?! It's not the best idea to stick your middle finger up to your boss and storm out (even though sometimes you might want to!) but sometimes even the best of us can react on the spot when you're that dissatified with your job. Although this isn't how you should leave your career-focused job in the real world, it's good to recognise your self-worth, stick up for yourself and leave a bad working culture. 4. The Wolf of Wall Street "You show me a pay stub for $72,000 and I'll quit my job right now and come work for you." The Wolf of Wall Street is a film revolving around money, and Director Martin Scorsese really gets it right when Donnie Azoff first meets Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort and wants him to prove to him how much he makes a month. In this funny scene Donnie rings his boss and quits on the spot, joining the crazy world of corporate greed and corruption against the backdrop of New York's stock exchange in the 1980s. What do we learn? As far as career lessons go, there's very few valuable lessons to be learnt from the pair in this film. Although admittedly they are rich and successful, they don't end up coming out on top, and their whole journey is a downward spiral into a life of corruption. Aside from the fact that a job shouldn't just be about the money but about what you want from your career and your future, quitting your job and agreeing to work for a complete stranger you've just met is never going to be a great idea - no matter the figure on their pay stub! 5. Bridget Jones's Diary Not only does Bridget Jones find out that her boyfriend is cheating on her - but her boyfriend is also her boss! In this empowering scene, she quits her mindless job for an amazing role she's always wanted working in television. Plus, she does it in front of the whole office, completely humiliating her ex-boyfriend - a win win situation. What do we learn? Again, in the real world the chances are you wouldn't find yourself in a situation quite like Bridget Jones, but then she wouldn't be one of Britain's most loved rom-com characters. But if we take a leaf out of her book, we can learn that it's never good to settle. If you are in a job where you feel underappreciated or are treated badly, you can be sure that there is a better role out there. There are plenty of routes to follow (even if they might stray slightly from your current career path) but it's good to widen your experience, figure out what type of company and position suits you best, and then you'll end up in a job that suits your career aspirations and lifestyle perfectly. For more information about how Pro-Recruitment can help you with leaving your current job and finding your ideal role, contact us on 020 7269 6333.
The International Women’s Day website says that balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. That collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world is key. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. Movements like #IWD matter because what held true in 1969 holds true today, that the stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says 'it’s a girl’. (Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm). And it is this stereotyping which holds back not only women and men, but it also holds back our economies. The economies in which we want to see growth, year in, year out. We live in a system which needs to hear the business case for everything. And even though I disagree with this starting point when it comes to matters of social conscience and equality I will toe the line today because these messages need to be heard. 65 countries lose $92bn in annual GDP by investing less in girls’ education than boys. (Yann Borgstedt, The Womanity Foundation) Globally women work two-thirds of all working hours, but get 10% of the income (Yann Borgstedt, The Womanity Foundation) The 2015 McKinsey Power of Parity Report says that in the full scenario of gender equality being achieved globally, $28trillion, or 26% would be added to global annual GDP by 2025. The report links gender equality in society to gender equality at work, acknowledging that one is not possible without the other. Here’s an example of how social inequality can cause economic problems. China’s Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s created opportunities for women in growing industries and the government specifically supported women in setting up SMEs. The even earlier Land Reform Act of 1950 enabled peasant workers to own their own land – this included women. Much of China’s growth in the last few decades was built on the woman-friendly foundations of these actions. Then came the one-child policy – the population was growing at a worryingly high rate. And from here came the stark realisation that despite the gender-equal policies of a few decades earlier, the higher social capital attached to having a boy over a girl had not changed. Attitudes remained as they had always been and new-born girls were abandoned to die or be adopted. Whilst the Chinese economy continues to grow at the moment, it faces uncertainty ahead. There are 50 million fewer women than there would have been if it weren’t for the one-child policy and the social inequality which led to boys being favoured over girls. This alone could lead to a 3% cut to China’s GDP. Yes, it’s an extreme example. But it illustrates the point - social inequality will continue to impact economic progress if we don’t address it head-on. Balance matters, it’s not just a slogan or a trending topic on Twitter, but a true indicator of what we could achieve if we work together – men and women – to create a world where opportunities are available to all, regardless of background. The reality is that everyone gains from the full social and economic empowerment of women. A more prosperous society is good for us all. #balanceforbetter This article has been contributed by Heeral Gudka (click to find out more about Heeral). Heeral Gudka is the founder and director of Convergent Consulting, with expertise in helping leaders create inclusive environments and work in a manner that motivates themselves and those around them. She set up her coaching business after 15 years in the insurance industry, experiencing first-hand the impact that intelligent and genuine leadership has on people, and also the impact of poor leadership on productivity and morale. Heeral has worked with Hiscox, SAGA, Tandem, Argenta, Conyers, Dill & Pearman; Freisenbruch-Meyer, AON Bermuda, The Honeypot Children's Charity and CCS Group. Twitter Linkedin
Everyone knows good interview preparation is key to succeeding in that first step to finding that new job. We all prepare for those tough interview questions to increase our chances of getting through to the next stage of the recruitment process. But how many of you focus on the importance of nonverbal communication? Research shows that when we communicate feelings and attitudes, only a small percentage of our overall message comes from the words we use: 55% of our message comes from body language (especially from movements of the small muscles around the eye which can convey shock, disbelief, doubt or disgust) 38% of our message comes from tone of voice Only 7% of our message is conveyed by the words we use (Mehrabian, 2007) Here are 10 body language tips to help you succeed in your interview: 1 - Walk the walk >> 2 - Sit up and back in your chair >> 3 - Look at their face, not constant eye contact >> 4 - Use your hands when speaking >> 5 - Keep your feet firmly grounded >> 6 - Breathe calmly >> 7 - Nod whilst you listen >> 8 - Lean in when speaking >> 9 - Mirror your interviewer >> 10 - Smile >> 1 - Walk the walk How you walk into an interview can speak volumes to an interviewer. To give an air of confidence, you should walk with pace (but not too fast or slow) with your head up and shoulders very slightly back. Be careful not to be too casual, you want to portray confidence, not arrogance! 2 - Sit up and back in your chair A good posture shows assertiveness and eagerness. Research shows that sitting at a slight angle, rather than straight on and directly facing them allows you to take in more of what the interviewer is saying and lessens the feel of intimidation and discomfort. 3 - Look at their face, not constant eye contact We use our eyes as a level of communication with other people. We also avoid a direct look from another person if we have something to hide. Maintaining a good level of eye contact in an interview portrays sincerity. However, to avoid constantly drilling into the interviewer's eyes, the most effective way to stay engaged is to look different parts of someone's face every two seconds, rotating from eyes, to nose, to lips. 4 - Use your hands when speaking Be careful not to cross your arms because that signals anger or a lack of openness. Your hands can be a very useful tool in an interview. They can help you emphasise key points; highlight your enthusiasm for a role, and show your belief and confidence in the points you are expressing. Open palms are often considered as signs of honesty and openness, traits that are very respectable to an interviewer but be careful not to use your hands too much as it can also be distracting. 5 - Keep your feet firmly grounded You may think that because you’re sat down in an interview, no one looks at your feet. But keeping both feet firmly to the ground generally shows a lot more confidence than having your legs cross. Sitting with both feet on the ground will also help you avoid any fidgeting which can be portrayed by the interviewer as nervousness. 6 - Breathe calmly Remember to speak clearly, confidently and at a good pace. Breathe. There’s an easy tendency to feel pressured to speed through your answers, but the best thing to do is listen to the question - pause - breathe - and deliver your response in a moderate speed and tone. This will help keep yourself calm as well as allowing your interviewer to take in your response. 7 - Nod whilst you listen Nod when you want to encourage and hear more, signal an understanding or when you are in agreeance with your interviewer. Be careful though, nodding too much loses its effect, as with anything you do too repetitively, you just start portraying yourself as unconfident and phony. 8 - Lean in when speaking Naturally, we all lean into a conversation when we’re passionate or engaged with the topic. Leaning in with your shoulders back and down demonstrates that you’re interested. With your posture being an important part of your non-verbal communication, this simple trick will help the interviewer see that you’re fully engaged. 9 - Mirror your interviewer By matching your interviewer’s positive body language, you can quickly get on good terms with them. Mirroring is a way to bond and to build understanding. It’is a very powerful body language tool that we use instinctively without even being aware of it. The most obvious forms of mirroring are yawning and smiling - let's hope the yawn doesn’t make an appearance! 10 - Smile You want to show you have a personality and you’re paying attention to what’s being said. However, many of us smile when nervous, so be mindful not to overdo it! You want to smile when you first meet the person and shake their hand when you talk about subjects you are passionate about and at the end of the interview while saying goodbye. Here are a few other blogs which will help you to prepare for your interview: How to handle interview questions like a pro >> Do you have any questions? >> Interviews - What not to do! >> 9 Rules for dressing for an interview >> For more interview tips or information about this article, speak to one of the team about your recruiting needs, contact us here!
Finding a new job can be tough. There are so many aspects to the whole job search process, writing a killer CV, preparing for your interview and even dressing appropriately, that it can often at times be overwhelming. But did you know that there is a wealth of tools out there on the web to help you nail that job search process and land your dream job? Here’s a breakdown of our top 4 tools to amp up your job search. 1. Glassdoor It’s reported that 83% of job seekers are likely to research company reviews and ratings when deciding where to apply for a job. Glassdoor is an invaluable tool for any job seeker. Essentially it’s an online company review platform and the best part is the reviews are anonymous. Without fear of repercussion, employees (and ex-employees) are able to give honest, unfettered and revealing information. This site is a goldmine for a number of reasons. Firstly, you are able to screen any prospective company that you may want to work for. One star out of five and a particularly scathing review from Terry in accounts? Probably best to give it a miss. Once you’ve found an employer you actually want to work for and have been invited for an interview you are able to dig deep and find out some juicy nuggets of information that are going to help you when it comes to your interview. Company culture, values and competitors are all things that you’ll probably be asked in your interview. Wow, your interviewer by not only answering each question without hesitation and confidence but by formulating a few of your own questions based on your knowledge of their company. Guaranteed brownie points. 2. LinkedIn Ok, ok this may be an obvious one but there are a few tips and tricks that you may or may not have used to amp up your current job search. First off, head to your LinkedIn profile just under your basic information you’ll see this box: Boom! Three amazing tools that are going to supercharge your job search. The first, Career Advice is a nifty addition to LinkedIn. By filling out a brief form and a short paragraph on what you’d like advice on you’ll be connected with industry leaders relevant to your sector who are happy to advise. Next up, Career Interests. Now you’re going to want to switch this one on if you’re actively looking for a job, don’t worry they don’t advertise your status to anyone who you're working with. You can update your information on what you’re looking for, when you’d like to start and how interested you actually are in a career move. This information can then be picked up by hiring managers and recruiters. Now you have relevant people directly approaching you based on your LinkedIn profile and experience. Finally, Salary Insights. This is great for understanding what you are actually worth. Based on your job title, location and sector LinkedIn can tell you the average salary of your peers, which companies pay the best for your skillset and the top paying locations too. Whilst LinkedIn is trying to become a one-stop shop for all your job needs we suggest you use it in conjunction with a few of these other tools. 3. Google for Jobs The new kid on the block. Many are predicting Google for Jobs to be a major turning point in the advancement of job searching. The jury's still out on how user friendly this tool is. Being one of the biggest companies in the world and processing an obscene amount of data it was kind of inevitable for Google to enter the realm of jobs at some point. With this aggregator, Google scrapes job boards from across the web and presents you all the options in a tidy little dashboard ready for you to go through. With the sheer scale of positions on this site, it can be a little overwhelming and impersonal at times. An added bonus is the alerts feature. Setting up alerts means you get an email digest delivered straight to your inbox based on your search specifications. With the growth of digital growth in recruitment will this take away the personal touch? 4. A Recruiter So to clarify, not strictly a tool but the most useful asset nonetheless. In an age of digital takeover, searching for a new role has become less personal, but speaking to a specialist will help you with your decision making. Recruiters do the legwork so you don’t have to, saving you time. Recruiters ask the questions that you don’t want to and a good recruiter knows their client and knows what that client is looking for, this allows our consultants to prepare you prior to interviews for everything that the interview process involves. Whilst job seekers looking to apply directly have to wade through the internet looking for companies that are hiring for live roles, recruitment agencies have spent years building relationships with the decision makers of these firms, meaning we know what they want, even if they aren’t publicly recruiting for it. Give some of these tools a go and your job search journey should be much more efficient and maybe even enjoyable. And as always, feel free to contact us if you would like to speak with one of our expert recruiters about the opportunities available.
One of the biggest problems facing companies is the attraction and retention of top talent. And let’s face it, with companies clamouring over each other to offer ever more enticing benefits and perks, competition is hotting up. So how important are workplace benefits and how do you stand up and be counted when competing to attract new talent? Millennials have impacted the UK workplace This is no secret. It is their increasing influence that has led to a shift in attitudes towards employer/employee relationship. In a study conducted by PWC, it was found that Millennials are placing a greater emphasis on being supported and appreciated than previous generations of workers. As a result, companies are looking for ways in which they can show support and appreciation to their employees that take a step away from the traditional method of remuneration and holiday time. This has given rise to the boom of employee benefits that employees are increasingly expecting when looking for a new role. 84% said that company culture is key Having surveyed Pro’s recruitment consultants, a large majority mentioned that company culture and benefits were one of the key factors in influencing a professionals decision on whether they would apply for a job or not. At this juncture, it’s important to point out that these benefits aren’t exclusively for Millennials, older and more traditional professionals are benefitting from this cultural shift too. For example, popular offerings such as flexible working time give parents more opportunity to spend time with their families without the need to take holiday or unpaid time off. It has also been noted that 2018 has seen employers recognise healthcare, both physical and mental, as a key driver for employee benefits. Employee wellness benefits are mutually beneficial with a healthy and happy workforce resulting in increased productivity whilst reducing presenteeism. So how do you get in on the action? Well, whilst there is no one size fits all package available it is important that a benefits package is carefully designed and supports the business’ goals by attracting the right type of talent. You also need to ensure that you work within your parameters both financially and logistically. If you’re thinking of rolling out a benefits package it is really important to think of who you are trying to target and what their wants and needs will be. Once you have done this, time to build an attractive plan and watch the applications roll in and your existing employees high five you and tell you how happy they are!
Trying to find the right recruiter can be a daunting task. Inevitably you’ll have been called by at least one or two recruiters and as soon as you pick up the phone your mind fills with doubts and your defences go up until you can work out who this person is and whether they’re trustworthy or not. The key to whether a recruiter is any good or not lies within the questions they ask when they’re talking to you. Now whilst the following is not a comprehensive list it is a very good indication into what information recruiters need to demonstrate you at your full potential and show that you are a serious contender. Is your recruiter asking you these questions? Reasons for leaving There are a hundred and one reasons for wanting to leave a job. They could be professional or they could be personal, either way, a good recruitment consultant will ask why you want to move on. It is important that you are honest and transparent with them, they’re not going to judge you and they’re not going to stop working with you. They are, however, able to understand where some of your key motivators lie and use this to start profiling suitable jobs for you. No career progression at your current company? No worries, let’s look at roles that have clear and fast progression paths. And it goes without saying that your potential employer will want to understand your reasons for leaving, was it voluntary, on good terms, for a good reason and most of all they’ll want to know what your work values are. Key drivers Staying on the subject of key drivers, recruiters will want to know what it is exactly that motivates you the most. Again, could be professional, could be personal or it could be a mixture of the both. It is important that you take a minute and carefully pinpoint what it is driving you to better yourself. The more of a profile that can be built up of you, the more targetted the roles will be. Are you looking for a shorter commute, flexi-time so that you can spend more time with your family or are you simply motivated by a greater remuneration package? Potential employers always like to understand a candidate's key drivers, if they’re able to address these then happy candidates tend to make the best employees. Whatever your motivations are, tell us! Salary Expectations Finally, salary expectations. Now, we know that sometimes it can be uncomfortable to talk about your salary but without knowing recruiters can spend hours sourcing roles that they think match your profile only for you to reveal that they are way-way off what you were hoping for or even what you ’re already earning. Don’t forget, this isn’t an interview. Recruiters will be able to tell you if your expectations are in line with the current market or industry. They may even be able to secure you more than you were expecting as they’ll know what hiring managers are willing to pay to secure top talent. These questions are just a snippet of what a recruiter should be asking you, if not, beware! Basically, a good recruiter will want to know if you’re in committed to finding a better role, if you’ll be a good culture fit in your new firm and whether they can help you satisfy your personal and professional goals. So be open, transparent and honest with them, this will play to your favour and you’ll start seeing the types of role that interest you appearing in no time! For more information on this article, or to speak to the team about your recruiting needs, contact us on 020 7269 6333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You've mastered your CV. You’ve got your killer references. You’re good to go right? Hmm not quite… You’ve neglected your cover letter and in doing so ruined your chance of securing that dream job! Often the cover letter is the very first impression of a candidate, this is the shop window, the opening as it were. But all too often candidates undersell themselves and blow their big chance. We surveyed experienced recruitment consultants about their top peeves when reading a cover letter as well as gathering their advice on how to make the most of it. So what’s the secret to crafting that winning cover letter? 1. Not tailoring your cover letter to the job you’re applying for 100% of all the Recruitment Consultants we polled agreed! Cover letters should specifically tell the client why you are good for the particular role you’re applying for. Sending out generic cover letters to multiple roles shows a lack of preparation and attention to detail. Be concise, specific and always bring it back to the role and company you’re applying for. 2. Grammatical and spelling errors Now, this should be obvious but it is amazing how frequently mistakes crop up. 82% of the Recruiters we surveyed mentioned that this made them less likely to continue reading. Such a simple and quick fix as running a spell checker over your letter will pick up any glaring issues you may have overlooked. However, you shouldn’t just end it there though. Actually, read it. And read it again. And then read it one more time. Give it to someone else to read! I’d suggest downloading Grammarly as an addition to all of the previous steps. 3. Waffle Not the delicious continental treat but endless, generic and often irrelevant content. Too much 'waffle' and explanation of your whole work experience rather than writing content that is targeted towards the company and the role is going to make the reader switch off quickly. Try to keep your cover letter to no longer than two-thirds of a page. Whilst writing your cover letter always consider how you would benefit the firm hiring you. If you have the mindset of 'how will this cover letter separate me from the crowd' you are on the right lines. Now by no means is this a comprehensive list however if you follow the basics your cover letter should improve tenfold. Now that you’ve incorporated these three simple steps into your cover letter process it’s time to ensure that your CV is up to scratch too. Speak to one of the team about more ways to improve your cover letter.
Feel like you're stuck at a dead end? Here are six undeniable signs you should start your search for a new job. 1. You are bored There’s nothing worse than feeling bored at work. Time drags, you’re constantly clock watching and find yourself doing literally anything to get through the day. On the whole, people need mental stimulation, a challenge, a goal to work towards. Boredom is such an issue in the workplace and shares many similarities with feeling stressed. Emotionally, people feel trapped and helpless when bored at work because they have fewer ways to occupy themselves as they would in their free time. Interestingly, in 2016 Frédéric Desnard took his employer to a tribunal for giving him so little to do that he became “bored out of his mind”. Your employer owes it to you to have a steady flow of tasks that are suitable to your skillset and title. 2. You are stressed As I mentioned earlier stress shares a lot of similarities with boredom. Whilst the difference is an overload of work rather than a lack of it the effects are the same, helplessness, a feeling of being trapped and ultimately unhappiness. In an evergrowing age of connectivity, people are finding it harder to detach their personal lives with their work lives, which in turn, has led to an increase in stress-related illnesses. In fact in the UK, 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17. If you’re feeling stressed or burnt out it then maybe it’s time to find a new job. One with better work/life balance and wellbeing incentives. 3. You aren't making progress If Jimmy the Tea Boy has progressed to Senior Exec with his own office and company car and you’re slogging away in the same position after the same amount of time then you need to start to look elsewhere. Lack of advancement is one of the leading causes of people searching out new employment. Employees need to keep moving forward and a key indicator of how they are progressing in their job title. If you don’t have set goals to work towards and a clear path to progress then what’s the point? It’s easy to become disenfranchised with your employers and the company if you’re not progressing. Find somebody who’s going to challenge you and reward you fairly for your contribution. 4. You are underappreciated You have a big project, you put your absolute everything into it and get it completed on time. You’re chuffed to nuts with your efforts and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, you are expecting a phone call, email or a face to face well done from your boss. You wait, and wait, and wait a little bit more… Slowly it dawns on you that no recognition is coming and the daily grind continues. Your masterpiece is a mere speck in the distance as another large project comes across your desk. A simple “thank you” or “great job” from higher-ups goes a long way, it costs nothing and takes a couple of minutes. If your boss can’t see your worth and is unwilling to acknowledge your hard work with a simple gesture then maybe it’s time to find a new job. 5. You are underpaid Doing a little bit of research on your worth can pay dividends, literally and figuratively. If you are busting your gut doing a skilled job for very little pay then something has to give. Knowing your self-worth is key here. There are a number of surveys and wage calculators out there that can give you an average banding of what you should be earning or even better speak to a recruitment consultant who will be able to give you an even greater insight into salaries. Time for a frank an honest conversation with your higher-ups on why you should be earning more and what you bring to the company. If your boss is unwilling to meet your valuation or even compromise with little explanation as to why then maybe it’s time to look for a new job. 6. You are reading this article Ok, ok maybe I’m being a little presumptuous. However, if you are reading this because you are unhappy and looking for another job then please do get in contact with us. Our specialist consultants are more than happy to discuss career paths, salaries and current opportunities.