Career And Interview Advice | 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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#HomeForWork – National Recruitment Day to target people home from abroad for Christmas

December 29 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm FREE EVENT Home for Work’: Come back for Christmas, stay for a career A national recruitment day aimed at offering jobs to people home for the festive season is to take place on December 29. The recruitment day, which will be held in four different locations across the country, is part of the ‘Home for Work’ campaign, was launched on December 8 by its ambassador Hector Ó hEochagáin. “This is a really important campaign. After having travelled across the globe for years and met Irish people working abroad, we have to let these talented, skilled professionals know the country has turned the lights back on and that work and good jobs are out there once more,” said Mr Ó hEochagáin. “Let’s hope the country has turned the economic bend again and the road ahead looks good. We need to entice our Irish Home for Work, for their families and for their country.” Recruitment events will be held at the same time (from 10am to 1pm) in Cork, Athlone, Galway and Sligo on December 29. The free events are being run by Recruitment and HR Services Group Collins McNicholas, whose experts will be on hand to offer advice as well as job opportunities to people considering returning home. Collins McNicholas will be recruiting for a range of roles including Science Professionals, Engineers, Accountants, IT Specialists, Human Resource Professionals, Administration, Sales & Marketing. Attendees are asked to bring their CVs so they can be matched with opportunities available. There will also be advice on other aspects of settling back into living in Ireland – from tips on the property market to...

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Coming home for Christmas…and making a plan to stay

It won’t be long now until we start reading articles in the national newspapers about Irish people returning home from abroad for Christmas.  The emotional scenes are well documented every year as emigrants and their families reunite at airports. For some, it’s been a couple of years since they last saw each other in person. It’s hard to read about, and even harder for those it affects. The emigrant doesn’t always get to call the shots. Distance, cost, having a family, and work commitments decide for most people when they get that chance to visit home. But for every joyous return we’ll read about in the coming weeks, there will be as many tearful farewells by the end of December when people return to their lives aboard. It’s the cruel twist in their Christmas stories. Perhaps you are one of those emigrants? At Collins McNicholas, we understand that taking it a step further and making the decision to move home permanently to Ireland is huge. It’s potentially a life changing decision for you. There will be a lot of ‘what if’ factors to be considered. And often it will be a case of ‘you won’t know until you try’. But one thing that you can do to mitigate how you eventually return home is to get good advice on job opportunities in Ireland. The new life and career you built for yourself abroad doesn’t need to end once you move home. The context might change in some cases, the weather definitely will! But the skills and experience you gained while abroad will more than help you to fit into...

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5 reasons to start your job search in December with Collins McNicholas!

December isn’t just a time for Christmas shopping, it is also the best time of year to shop around for a new job. You might think that December is a quiet month for companies while they focus on year-end activities, but thankfully the need for hiring doesn’t stop in the build up to Christmas. People are always on the move, and companies are always looking towards their next project. Job searching can take up a lot of time, and many people decide to wait until the New Year to kick off their job searches. But procrastinating now could cost you a missed opportunity in January. Our advice is to start searching now – get in contact with one of our Recruitment Consultants, connect with them on LinkedIn, send us an updated CV and start applying for jobs in the run up to Christmas. Need further convincing? Here are 5 good reasons why you should start your job search in December with Collins McNicholas: Reason 1: Companies want to hire now, not later. Regardless of the time of year, if a company needs to fill a role, they need to hire now. If a company needs to ramp up hiring for a project, they will need to hire straight away. If a role becomes vacant because someone has changed jobs, the company will need to fill that role quickly. If a role has been open for a number of months, companies will be anxious to fill that role before year end. So, if you see a newly posted job, you should assume that the company is actively recruiting and interviewing...

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The Olympic Recruitment Race

    The repetitiveness of applying for jobs continuously can sometimes feel like running a marathon; drawn-out, tiring, painstaking and seemingly never-ending. However, using the right tools and going about it the right away can turn a marathon into a 100 metre sprint. Preparation Have an up to date CV and cover letter ready to go. It should be well-written, neatly formatted and include all of the key information for obtaining the role. This is a crucial first step in your preparation. Just like an athlete tailors her preparation to maximise her chances in each race, your CV and cover letter should be tailored specifically for each job you apply for. Don’t send out the same old tired, generic CV over and over.Application forms require a lot of attention to detail so make sure you fill these out carefully. A mistake can harm your chances of being progressed to interview stage. Performance under Pressure Once you have gotten past the application stage next comes the interview. This section is down to your performance on the day, but with proper preparation success is achievable. Remember, failing to prepare means you are preparing to fail. Take an athletes approach to preparation and practice your answers again and again until you can perform them without hesitation. Being able to perform when the pressure is on is what separates good athletes from great athletes and good job candidates from great job candidates. So, as part of your preparation, know who you will be meeting, practice your interview questions and competency questions to make sure you won’t stumble and fall along the way, and dress for success. Post-Performance...

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