Career | 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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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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Increase in Registered Job Vacancies of 9% in the 1st Quarter of 2017

Collins McNicholas has seen a 9% growth in registered job vacancies in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the first quarter of 2016. The number of candidates registering with Collins McNicholas has increased by 1% in the same period. The unemployment rate for February 2017 was 6.6%, down from 6.7% in January 2017 and down from 8.4% in February 2016. As the unemployment rate declines, we are seeing a tightening in the labour market and increased demand for certain types of skills. The biopharma, medtech and software sectors continue to grow and there is increased demand for engineering, science, data analytics and software development skills within these sectors. It is encouraging to see the growth of the Coder Dojo movement and the increased applications in the STEM subjects at third level, positioning Ireland to take advantage of the expected growth in these sectors globally where the competitive advantage is centred on access to talent. The short to medium term outlook for the Irish economy is good. The ESRI forecasts GDP growth of 3.8% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018, with a corresponding fall in the unemployment rate to 6.4% by the end of 2017 and 5.6% by the end of 2018. Although Brexit will likely have some negative impact on trade, the economic outlook for Ireland’s principal trading partners looks positive in the short to medium term. Domestic factors are playing a more important role in economic growth with a resurgent construction sector expected to be a significant driver of this growth as the housing shortage is addressed. Ireland continues to attract international investment and this year has...

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Time to Make a New Year Career Resolution

Like most people I make new year’s resolutions, and like most people by the end of January they lie in ruins. The changes I so desired to make just a few weeks earlier have failed to materialise as I let myself slip back into old habits, consoling myself with the thought that I was being unrealistic with my plans in the first place. It doesn’t have to be this way. What you need is a plan, a roadmap that will give you the structure you need to stay disciplined in pursuit of your goals. If your new year’s resolution is to progress your career, you cannot afford to be casual in the way you pursue it. You don’t want to be putting the same resolutions on next year’s list too. Most people think that all they have to do is update their CV, send it out to a few agencies, and sit back and wait for the job offers to come in. They are wrong. If you are serious about developing your career in 2017 here are 9 things you can do: Set Goals– how can you progress your career without taking some time out to think about what you want to do? Decide where you want to be in five years and figure out what you need to do to make it happen. Speak to people who are currently doing that job and find out how they got there. Update your CV – your CV needs to to be clear and easy to read. Hiring managers don’t have time to comb through your CV looking for the right information,...

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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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