General Interest | 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...

Read More

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?...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Top Five Lifestyle Reasons Why Limerick is Now a Location of Choice for Job Seekers

1. Plentiful Job Opportunities – Job opportunities are on the rise in Limerick in many sectors, and at all levels. This is great news for job seekers who may have had to relocate previously to other parts of Ireland in the last few years when the recession hit, and would now like the opportunity to move back to their hometown. The unemployment rate in Ireland has reduced to 6.6% in February 2017 from 8.4% in February 2016. 2. Educational Facilities – Limerick takes pride in the education facilities it provides. It is home to one of Ireland’s top universities – the University of Limerick. The University of Limerick provides its students with a great variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses to choose from and has a booming employment rate for graduates that is 20% higher than the other six Universities in Ireland. http://www.ul.ie/news-centre/news/university-of-limerick-is-ranked-within-top-150-of-worlds-young-universitie   3. City of Culture – The people of Limerick are now creating a more vibrant culture in the city with continuous improvements to the cities social and cultural amenities through expansion, development and regeneration. This is all part of the “Limerick 2020 campaign” to be recognised as a European Capital of Culture in 2020. Exciting upcoming events and things to do can be found on https://www.limerick.ie/visiting/whatson     4. Sporting Facilities – Limerick has extensive sporting facilities. Thomond Park is the home ground of Munster Rugby which is one of the most famous rugby clubs in the world. Other well-known sporting facilities include the Gaelic Grounds which is the main GAA stadium in Limerick city, home to several hurling and football teams. If you are interested in...

Read More