January is officially the most depressing month of the year! Grey, dark days and possibly a new health/eating challenge which can have us climbing the walls!! We also typically focus on what we would like to achieve career wise in the year ahead. A new book could just help you in that department- last week I spoke to Charlotte Billington author of ‘What To Do Next’……
LSF: Who is the book aimed at?
CB: The book is mainly aimed at people who have come to a crossroads in their career and are thinking about what they would like to do next. This could be a new mum looking to return to work, as well as those who have had years out or anyone contemplating a change. It is also aimed at mid or senior level professionals or business owners who are looking for more work satisfaction or success within their current or future positions.
LSF: How does the book work?
CB: I wanted to create something different to what was already out there. This book is practical, uncomplicated and in exercise book form. You can complete it at your leisure; a chapter a day or a chapter a month. The key to it is to allow yourself concentrated focused thinking time. The book contains a series of questions and exercises designed to draw out your individual and unique, skills, strengths and motivators. Peppered with motivational quotes and divided into manageable sections each chapter is a step-by-step process encouraging the reader to gather information about themselves. Once you are in possession of all these findings, it is then in the final chapters, that you work through what to do next. My aim was to design something easy to use, to the point and focused on the individual and interesting to complete.
It explores, among other things the following:
- Which parts of your job you actually enjoy?
- What types of people do you work best with?
- Are you being allowed to develop?
- What about your job stresses you out?
- What do you want?
- What are your values?
LSF: How can you work out if it’s a career change you need or just to move companies/set up your own business?
CB: Once you have completed the book you will be in possession of your values, strengths, motivators and other important clues which will lead you to look objectively at the correct move for you. Freedom must involve self-awareness. In addition to this the final chapter includes an exercise for those struggling to make a decision. This with all of your findings will help you decide individually what is the best move forward for you.
LSF: If someone wants to make a career change what is the first thing they should do?
The first thing they should do is spend time evaluating themselves. What are their unique selling points (USP’s) What are their values? What is important to them? What constraints do they have? What are their goals? What is their purpose? Review their career to date to find clues. Before you jump into doing your CV, Linked In profile etc stop, take stock and spend time on getting to know yourself so that you can then be clear and focused.
LSF: And when you do get an interview for a new job – what are your top tips for making the right impression?
My top tips to make a good impression: Preparation is the key:
Research the job, company, recent press related to the company, look at their company Linked In page and their other social media.
Research the person who is going to be interviewing you and their background from Linked In or their bio on the website.
Practice answering interview questions that might be asked. Prepare some answers.
Look at the job spec and what they are specifically looking for e.g. Good communication skills. Think of three strong examples that you can give from your work experience for each of them.
Think of some strong questions to ask the interviewer at the end of your interview.
Work on your appearance and first impression; if possible check the dress code in advance before your meeting.
Work on building rapport with the interviewer, do you have any common ground? Did their profile/bio reveal something you are also interested in?
What To Do Next is Now Available from Amazon and is priced from £16.80.