Archives for May 2017 | Collins McNicholas

I’m in my 50s and desperate to quietly upskill to keep up with my tech-savvy younger staff

I’m in my 50s and desperate to quietly upskill to keep up with my tech-savvy younger staffI am a female in my late 50s and am enjoying my work at my job in the media sector. There are a lot of younger employees coming into the workplace with IT skills that are far superior to my own. While I am their manager, sometimes I feel like my lack of tech skills is putting me at a disadvantage. I wonder are there ways in which I can quietly upskill, without drawing too much attention to my own lack of knowledge to newer employees and bosses? It is important to be aware of the area you are working in, as many sectors change rapidly – information technology in particular. This requires employees not only to keep their skills updated, but also learn new ones. Upskilling is a personal endeavour, as everyone has unique interests and talents that align with certain skills. Tackle one skill or skill set at a time, instead of trying to build several skills in one go. Although many employers offer on-the-job training and the chance to take more formal qualifications, it’s still up to you to keep your skills sharp. This is particularly true for a manager or leader, as by keeping up to speed your team can see how committed you are to your role and the company will see you as a leader and expert. By refining and updating your expertise, you can ensure that you always stay relevant. It puts you in a more competitive position in your industry, makes you more valuable to your company, provides job security, and highlights your desire to learn and grow, illustrating a great attitude. In the long term if your industry hits a downturn you will have kept ahead of the game by upskilling, and it also makes you more appealing for promotions or for future employers. Of course, it will also increase your own job satisfaction. I feel as a manager you have an obligation to guide, coach and mentor your team so you need to be confident you can do so should any questions arise around new technologies and changes. Committing to just a few hours training can boost your confidence as a manager and lead to increasing your team effectiveness and the organisation’s competitive advantage. You can ask your own boss if there is a budget in place for upskilling or career development. Work with them to put in place an annual training plan to ensure you are ahead of the curve when it comes to technology – this discussion will normally be part of your performance appraisal on an annual basis. But if you don’t want to make it as obvious that you are upskilling, there are many timely, cost-effective ways to learn. Use webinars, podcasts, etc… They are effective and efficient, so you can tune in when it suits you. There is a wealth of content out there across a wide spectrum of subjects, so conduct a search and narrow down so you can hone into the topics you need. This gives you the opportunity to benefit from the online training experience of professionals.   Attend meet-ups or industry events This will take more of your time but you will be meeting people and this is often more beneficial as you can ask questions, discuss changes, etc. It’s a great way of learning from the experts and making new contacts.   Build your network Join groups with other professionals inside and outside your industry – both online and offline. This will build your pool of connections while learning from a wide range of professionals and will also heighten your own interpersonal skills.   Use a mentor Learning from someone within the industry can help you avoid mistakes. Ask them how they got to where they are and what they learned along the way – they can advise you on the particular skills you need to have moving forward.   Go back to reading An obvious one but a great way to expand your awareness – research leaders in your field and read about them. Once you feel comfortable, you could contribute to a blog or a particular forum so you become more of a market expert. Don’t forget to document what you have been researching/learning so you have your own personal account and you can also inform your boss regarding your development. Update your CV and social profiles so your skills are all up to date. Once you start into this journey you can set a monthly goals plan.           Michelle Murphy Director Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group   This article was originally published in the Business section of the Sunday Independent, May 21st 2017. The original article can be found...

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How Can I Best Break the Cycle of Being Constantly Passed Over for Promotion

Question: I am in middle management and have been passed over for promotion on three occasions. I am not in a position to leave the company but I desperately want to progress in my career and I feel that I am stuck in the role that I am in. Is there some way that I can approach my boss and find out where I am going wrong? Answer: I understand how frustrating it can be not to get a promotion. you are probably feeling a lot of emotions including disappointment, humiliation, resentment and, maybe, anger. It is impossible not to feel personally offended. However, it is important for our own sanity to understand why this has happened and, of course, leave you in a position to improve so you can go forward for future opportunities. It is important to organise that ‘dreaded discussion’ with your bosses promptly so you are getting fresh feedback. ask for specific things you could work on to improve your chances in the future. However, when you ask for suggestions, be ready to listen and be prepared ti make those changes. It Is Not Yours Because You Expect It Some employees feel entitled to be promoted because they have been in the organisation for a long time, but tenure is no longer a key consideration. Contribution will be the ultimate decision maker. Performance Is Not Everything Employees are often under the misconception that promotion decisions are based solely on performance in their role. Success in one area doesn’t always translate to another. You need to become familiar with the requirements and competencies needed. Could It Be Your Softer Skills?...

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7 Key Points for Payroll in 2017

I had the pleasure of attending the annual Irish Payroll Association (IPASS) conference on 11th May 2017 in Croke Park Dublin. IPASS is Ireland’s premier provider of Payroll and VAT training and certification. The conference included presentations from IPASS, the Revenue Commissioners and PWC. Here are some helpful key points that were discussed/highlighted on the day: 1. GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – This issue is highly topical at the moment. The regulation will come into effect on the 25th May 2018. If you are a registered Data Processor or Data Controller you need to be ready to conform to the policy by this date. Please click this link for further information. This regulation will impact any information we hold on payroll, accounts, and any information on our database relating to clients, suppliers and candidates/temps. 2. New Revenue Website – During the first week in June 2017, the Revenue Commissioners will be launching a brand new website. Revenue have done research into how websites are generally used to ensure that their new look web pages are user friendly and easy to navigate. They have spent time removing jargon and converting technical speak into straight forward narrative. This should make registering employment, resolving tax queries etc. more simplistic. Revenue have acknowledged however that not everyone is IT literate and they will still need to be prepared to answer phone calls and postal correspondence. 3. Illness Benefit – There was a lot of discussion around the processing of illness benefit. The consensus is that the processing of this on behalf of Welfare and Revenue is problematic at employer and payroll processing level. Revenue...

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Becoming Better Leaders by taking a “Whole-person” Approach

Guest Blog: the following article was written by Michelle Hammond, Ph.D., University of Limerick. When did you first learn about leadership? Chances are you knew something about leadership long before entering the workplace by observing parents or teachers, taking on leadership experiences in school and sport, and even through planning activities with siblings or friends.  Leadership happens everywhere and so we should not limit our opportunities to develop leadership to experiences and training programs at work. Although definitions vary, I consider leadership to be a relational process geared towards bringing people to achieve a common goal.  Anytime you are relating to people and trying to work together to achieve something shared you’re engaged in leadership. Taking a whole-person approach involves considering connections across all areas, or domains, of our lives. There are at least three major benefits to considering a whole-person approach to leader development.  First, we gain synergies by examining transferable skills across the connections we identify.  I recently heard a great story of a leader who had been given feedback that she should work on being less emotionally reactive and defensive when her employees approach her with issues or setbacks.  She noticed a connection in her “over-reaction” to her teenage sons and took the opportunity to practice being more composed both at work and at home. This practice both sped up her development and created improvements in her relationships at work and at home (i.e. it was both more efficient and effective). In addition to transferable skills, taking a multi-domain approach helps us to grow from the ways in which areas of our lives are different. These disconnections...

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Career advice: I’m paid less than my male colleague and don’t know how best to approach my boss about it

  Q: I am a female line manager in a technology company and am feeling frustrated, as I believe I am being paid less than a male colleague for the same role. But I don’t know what to do about it – how do I approach my boss about getting a pay rise? A: Over the past few years, I have noticed that the gender pay gap (GPG) is starting to close, which is welcome. New UK legislation on this issue is also heartening and could be mirrored here. The UK equality regulations, which came into place last month, will make employers with more than 250 employees publish annual gender pay and bonus figures online. The same regulations come into effect in the North next month. Once companies start to monitor their GPG, hopefully, they will work towards creating a more equal playing field. But, in order to close the gap, we need to look at supporting women who want to return to work, looking at flexibility, parental leave arrangements and subsidising childcare costs. I have seen a greater balance of pay within the tech field, including engineering and IT, which would have traditionally been dominated by male employees. As women move closer to the top, I have seen the pay gap decreasing and am happy to report that the executive roles I have placed recently are all at par with the market rate whether male or female. Broaching the topic of pay inequality is never easy but if you are sure there is a gap then I would recommend this course of action: 1 Research what your pay...

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