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The Smartest Move
Zena At Workfest

Blog entries, to help you develop your own career strategy as well as have better career conversations with the people that work for you.

Feel free to share them. I also write careers articles for www.High50.com.

Recent Blog Posts

22 Jan 2017What would you do if success was guaranteed?

If you knew that you were at the top of your game and would succeed at whatever you set your mind to, what would you aim for this year?    Now that most of us are back in the swing of things after the holidays, I thought it would be useful to take a moment to pause and reflect on our objectives for this year...

28 Nov 2016Seasonal Networking Tactics

  It’s peak networking time.  Some people are natural networkers, but as recent research has found that up to 45% of us claim to feel shy some of the time, the chances are that many of us avoid networking if we can get away with it.  Business networking is a career-enhancing soft skill...

12 Oct 2016How to get more done in a day than your colleagues do in a week

In a ten-year study conducted by McKinsey, executives reported that they were five times more productive when they worked in a state of optimal concentration called flow.   As author Steven Kotler points out, that means they could get as much done by the end of Monday than their steady-state peers did in a whole week...

30 Jun 2016Why some people achieve their career goals and other people don't

I used to be a Recruitment Consultant, running a business that recruited staff for the recruitment industry itself, (yes, you read that right).  That’s got to be the sharpest end of the recruitment sector.   I became fascinated why some candidates achieved their career goals and others didn't...

23 May 2016Three Ways to Build Your Employees' Confidence

Confidence is a crucial building block of personal and professional success.  It defines the way we think, how we act, how we manage our emotions and the impact we make.  It is an Inside Out/Outside In construct – if we behave in a more confident way, it makes us feel more confident...

31 Mar 2016Three Reasons why Recruiters don't return your calls

Three Reasons why Recruiters don't return your calls Part of a balanced job search campaign should involve engaging with recruiters, particularly the ones specialising in your function or sector.  (Only about 20% of your time though, with the rest spent mining your own contacts...

12 Jan 2016How to get what you want this year

Welcome back.  Many of us seem to have hit the ground running after the holidays and it's easy to forget our good intentions to improve the way we live and work.    One of my clients said last week that she felt her well-being was at 4/10 and she wants to feel 8/10 by this time next year...

07 Dec 2015Why successful people make their New Year's resolutions now - and stick to them

  I've noticed that some of my coaching clients have already written down their resolutions for 2016.  These are usually people who managed to keep their resolutions for this year too.  Research says about 45% of us make resolutions but 54% of us will give up within six months...

12 Nov 2015Six tactics for passing a promotion interview

Six tactics for passing a promotion interview Even the most confident candidates balk at the thought of promotion panels.  They are  particularly intimidating if you already report to panel members...

07 Oct 2015How to do your own appraisal

You may not have a formal appraisal at work any more, but there’s nothing to stop you from doing your own. Every business has a strategic plan, so it makes sense that we have one for our own careers too. We may be back to business as usual after the holidays, but don’t waste the energy you’ve gained from your break...

09 Sep 2015Why you are much more successful than you think you are

Do you ever get that niggling feeling that you should have achieved more? Or that what you have achieved isn't quite good enough? The web is groaning with content about career success...

04 Aug 2015The simple interview question that most people fail

I've interviewed thousands of people over the years as a Career Coach, Recruiter, Selection Panelist and Trustee...

25 Feb 2015Six reasons why your job search has stalled

The CBI predicts that 50% of UK businesses intend to hire this year, also reporting that firms could struggle to fill these vacancies because of skills shortages.  My head-hunting contacts are under pressure to meet this demand for talent...

03 Dec 2014Five ways to prove you are ready for promotion in 2015

You may feel like you deserve to be promoted next year, but how do you demonstrate that you are really worthy of promotion, perhaps ahead of your peers? You may have the numbers to back up your claim – quantifiable performance measures that show consistent delivery – but promotion usually requires enhanced business skills as well as strong...

03 Nov 2014Two tips to help you do great performance appraisals this year

It's coming up for annual review season again. You and your direct reports are probably as keen as each other to get it over with, so you can get back to 'proper' work. Your team may have been with you for so long that you feel embarrassed to do their appraisal...

08 Oct 2014Three questions micromanagers should ask themselves

Over-controlling managers may produce great short-term results by constantly getting involved in decision making that is way below their job title. However, this is to the ultimate detriment of their own professional development as well as that of their team’s. No one likes a boss who excessively questions their work...

31 Aug 2014Three reasons why your star performers will leave you

Three reasons why your star performers will leave you. Returning to work after the holidays is bad enough without having to worry about who might ask you for a ‘quiet word’ in order to hand in their notice. I don’t want to cause any paranoia, but if that resonates with you, let me share the most frequently given reasons why people resign...

17 Jun 2014Six Things Successful Job Seekers Don't Do

Career changers and job seekers are swamped with information and advice on the ‘right’ way to go about finding a new role. Much of this is anecdotal, or based on out-of-date research more relevant to graduate entry jobs...

07 Mar 2014Daunted by the prospect of a competency based interview? Let's demystify the process…

Research shows that traditional biographical interviews have low effectiveness in predicting a candidate's performance. An interview by an untrained interviewer may be no more effective a selection tool than a handwriting assessment...

27 Jan 2014"And Do You Have Any Questions For Us?"

At this stage of an interview the temptation can be to either escape as soon as you can or ask something clichéd about the organisation's training and development plans...

13 Dec 2013The Smart Way To Run Annual Performance Appraisals

It's annual review season. You and your direct reports are probably as keen as each other to get it over and done with. When handled properly, the appraisal can inspire solid performers and reignite the poor ones...

31 Oct 2013Why Perfectionists Aren't Perfect

Perfectionism is the uncompromising pursuit of exceptionally high standards. This would appear to be a great characteristic to bring to the workplace. These high achievers will use their time and energy in the pursuit of doing a first class job, they will get great results and be enormously committed to the organisation...

11 Jul 2013Why Do Some People Find Work More Quickly Than Others?

Here are some observations about clients who have successfully looked for new roles or more freelance work. These are five common factors - some intuitive, some learned - that have enabled them to get what they want within their timescales...

07 May 2013How Could a Pro-Bono Trustee Appointment Enhance Your Career?

Some of the senior executives on our outplacement and career management programmes are considering leaving conventional employment to embark on a plural or portfolio career. This is usually fuelled by a desire for more variety, freedom and control over their time...

12 Mar 2013How To Really Work Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a critical part of your brand. An effective profile works like an interactive business card, showcasing your expertise. Like offline networking, LinkedIn is about engaging with people and sharing information to build supportive, mutually beneficial relationships...

10 Dec 2012How To Set Good Goals

What does research tell us about goal-setting? You may be setting 2013 goals for you and your team or reflecting on the goals you achieved this year. Most of us set goals but we don't always achieve them. Why not? It may be helpful to look at research findings on goal-setting theory to get some answers...

22 Oct 2012What's The Point Of A "Career Discussion" With Your Staff?

Although many organisations make rigorous enquiries about a person's goals and motivations at interview, their knowledge of the individual can tail off once that person is employed. Sometimes these subjects aren't picked up again until the person resigns, lured by the next firm who have taken a personal interest in them...

08 Oct 2012Don't Mess Up Your Job Change

Feedback from both our recruiter network and our outplacement clients is that - after a summer full of distractions - the market is definitely moving again, albeit cautiously. Employees are more confident about making a move, perhaps to get their careers back on track if they have remained static during the recession...

05 Sep 2012Feeling Stuck?

What do you want? Where do you want to be? What is stopping you from moving on? September, October and January appear to be crucial months when people contact us because they feel stuck in a rut in their careers. Instead of feeling energised after their holidays, they feel drained...

16 Jul 2012What's Most Important To You?

Some thoughts on making your life work better for you. Many of us are about to take a holiday, or work from home during the Olympics. Regardless of where we are this summer, we will probably still be connected to the office 24/7...

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