We’ve moved home!

At least our blog has anyway…

We ‘ve recently overhauled our website and it is now home to our blog where we have copied all the old posts and will be making new ones from there too.

The address is: http://www.calibresearch.co.uk and we hope that you will join us there.

two 3d humans carry a home in their hands

Calibre Search wears red for RedR!

RedR is an international disaster relief charity which trains aid workers and provides skilled professionals to humanitarian programmes worldwide, helping to save and rebuild the lives of people affected by natural and man-made disasters http://www.redr.org.uk/

We’ve supported RedR for the last couple of years and are pleased to do so this year with the obligatory red clothes and the honesty box tuck shop.IMAG0626

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Results for our recent poll on Linkedin. In your experience what is the most influential factor as to why people change jobs? (Pull and push factors)

Firstly a big thank you for all of the people who participated in the poll and made comments it is greatly appreciated, and given the number of respondents it provides us with some interesting results.

The purpose of the poll.

The purpose of the poll was for me to take at look opinions from people who are not necessarily active job seekers and to see if this is different from my perception as a recruiter. The majority of people I speak to about such matters will naturally be active in the market.

As recruiters, an integral part of our screening process is to establish whether an individual has the right motivations to join a new employer, and that the process is as efficient as possible. When done correctly it ensures that applicants once placed are long term hires, and helps us match heir their motivations with their new position. Equally, it helps to prevent the classic counter offer and having to start the process all over again which can be costly both in real terms and in time spent.

The Result

Discussion

The most obvious conclusion is that the majority of people who voted believed that the role itself is the most critical factor, and if there is a better more suitable challenge then this may tempt them to seek a new opportunity. However it did throw up some other rather interesting points for discussion.

At the other end of the spectrum location came in as the least important factor only receiving 2 votes. Perhaps this is because for the majority of people in their careers they are not forced to, through circumstance, to work away from home, or willingly accept a position (for whatever reason) with long commute. It may be that this is not a common problem, but from my experience in the active job seeker market it plays a much greater role than what the poll suggests.

 

Job Security was interesting as there were no data to suggest voters between the ages of 30 and 45 were at all concerned with security with zero votes. Perhaps you younger voters are particularly susceptible to this given the amount of youth unemployment at the moment, and the media attention surrounding it. Also voters in the category of 45+ may feel that it will be harder to find alternative suitable employment. (In my opinion it is the opposite in this case, especially in Engineering). Either way it was not a great concern in the poll which is good to see.

The second most popular vote was colleagues and management. In effect the people we work with. This can also be considered to mean the culture in which we work. For employers seeking to retain the best talent (the most successful companies have lower attrition rates) then please take heed, as this is valued higher than salary and remuneration, and is firmly within the control of the organisation. I am glad to say that as a recruiter this is rarely the main driver in most professional organisations. (Although I can think of several good examples). In my opinion it is far more likely that a great working environment will keep people in place rather than attract them elsewhere, and individuals will compromise on other motivational factors.

Remuneration is king. Right? Well not really. It is important people feel valued, but this is not necessarily linked to money. People may want more money, and may consider leaving because of it. However this is the one area which is very easy for an employer to fix if there are no other underlying problems. To put it into context it only received 23% of the vote. In truth this is actually what I expected to see. If anything it is slightly higher than I anticipated.

The most popular choice is challenge. When we ask the reasons for people’s motivations for changing positions they rarely view it both a positive and negative sense. For example too much of a challenge can result in people working outside of their comfort zone, and too little results in boredom or frustration. For the most part I would agree that this confirms my own thoughts as to why individuals move on as this may be the one area that an employer has less control over if they are unable to offer promotion, or change the type of work a person is undertaking. Once this becomes apparent people heads may well be turned by another opportunity, especially if there are any other underlying factors such as the ones discussed above.

Richard Robinson is a Director of Calibre Search Ltd based in Leeds, who specialises in the recruitment of Consulting Engineering and Planning professionals.

High street in the school hall!

No I’m not writing about plans for retailers to take pester power to a new level; however the idea of doing so could have interesting ramifications…

Cashpoints is the name of a trading exercise that the Leeds Education Business Partnership (EBP) has been running with great success within the region and I had the pleasure of being part of recently.

The idea is simple; students are split in to groups, each running a business that they must a Manager and Assistant to lead discussions/decision making while they all have to buy services and products each company. The clever bit is that the day is split in to sections, each with a newsflash giving an update about how the economy is doing so the students can react and decide their action plan.

As you can imagine the idea is for those taking part to discover work related skills such as talking with colleagues and customers, budgeting for business as well as personal ones such as managing their own finances, making purchase decisions and the difference between essentials such as buying utility services and food, paying rent and “nice to have’s” such as cars and electrical goods. There is also a FE college and an Employment Agency too for added realism as well as to play an interesting role after certain news updates.

Coming to a school near you via Leeds Education Business Partnership?

Each student earns money in one of the businesses and in each session has to pay rent, buy food and utilities. They can save the money, or buy other things such as a car, training or a holiday. By the mid-point of the day they must have a car, bought clothes and other items with the twist being the news flashes which announce various things from the arrival of hard times and redundancies to rising prices and government investment and the freeing up of the economy.

There was also a competition element to the day in that the business with the most points, (gained through recruiting, managing funds, investing in training and IT), and the student with most points, (earned through savings, qualifications and assets), won a round of applause and a certificate.

It was a remarkable and busy session to take part in; the students responded really positively to the changing circumstances of the economy and some made sensible decisions, while others did not. Importantly, all were happy to talk about what was going on, why they took a particular course of action and what the effects of that were on them.

What was also particularly interesting was how the exercise reflected the period that we are all living in now and how attuned the pupils were to that. They were very aware of what is in the press and the possible effects on their family in real life. Where I think the day particularly adds value is that it ties together the learning that the students are doing in schools about personal skills and fund management with what they are seeing at home and will experience in the workplace.

Becky and the team at the EBP have found that a lot of people enjoy volunteering for the Cashpoints day, and I’ll certainly be joining the queue for the next one!

If you want to know more about working with the EBP you can reach Becky on: 0113 395 2646 or rebecca.cumberworth@leeds.gov.uk

Pass your own appraisal

I’m a big believer in looking at life every 6 months or so to see where you are, where you’ve been and where you want to go; I’ve alluded to it in a previous post find that while I may not have ended up where I wanted to be, it helps me to be aware of that and then decide if I’m happy with that situation or want to change it.

Employers do the same when you first join and also on a regular basis throughout your time with them; the not exactly friendly sounding “probation meeting” and “appraisal meeting” are the times when you will sit down with your line manager and possibly someone from HR and discuss how you are feeling about the work that you do, the company and your career. It is the ideal forum for them to identify different aspects about the work that you do, your relationships with colleagues and your future with the firm.

A lot of people seem to approach these meetings with feelings of nervousness or negativity; something which will naturally get them off to a bad start, if only in your own mind. The acronym for this is FEAR: False Expectations Appear Real. The best way to manage this is to prepare, so why not have your own mini-appraisal in readiness?

There are many questions you could ask yourself, but I would start with the following:

  • What have I done since joining the company/last appraisal that I am proud of?
  • When could I have done something better? What stopped me performing well?
  • Have I fulfilled the promises and commitments that made in the last meeting been mutually fulfilled? If not, have there been discussions along the way to talk about it?
  • Am I genuinely working well with the team?
  • Are there any issues that I have that I have struggled to resolve? Are there any that I am hiding from?
  • Do you feel that there are things your manager will bring up that you are uncomfortable with? What are they and what can you do about them?
  • What do you want to achieve in the meeting?

Some of these are hard questions, but the point of the exercise is to best prepare you for what should be a frank and open discussion with your manager and to help you get the most out of it.

The great thing about asking yourself hard questions before some else does is that you already know the answers and you will be in a better position to give a strong response. The other real plus is that if things are not entirely positive, you will be able to make them more so by having a plan in mind to put them right, or at least thought about what the best way forward is mutually.

The main thing that I would mention is that we are typically much more critical of ourselves than others will be. By that measure, if you can survive your own grilling, anything that anyone else can give you will be a walk in the park!

Graduate as more than just another Graduate

Now is the time of year when people start looking forward to the start of their university careers, while those who are nearing the end of their courses are looking forward to commencing their careers in earnest.

There was an interesting post on Su Butchers excellent justpractising blog from a student starting his degree who was worried that there would not be an opportunity at the end of it. I responded and it also sparked a conversation within the Calibre office; what makes the best Graduates we’ve spoken to over the years, the best?

We came to a number of conclusions and wonder if there is anything else that you would add to the list?

  • Has not necessarily got a First class honours, but got a first class attitude
  • A passion for the subject and knowledge of the wider issues around it
  • Being comfortable talking about what they done and their reasons for taking that subject.
  • Can demonstrate social skills; they make the interviewer think that they will be able to do the job well, but also interact with the team.
  • Having a career plan beyond “get a job”, “work for the industry leader” or “do something in sustainability/cutting edge/world changing” but with no substance of what or how.

Looking at this list some aspects can be learnt, while others can be developed from your existing skill set. One thing is sure; while you are completing your course you can be effectively working to enhance your career prospects and more than likely benefiting your studies too.

As someone starting or part way through your degree you are in a great position to prepare yourself for getting in to a top graduate role; notice our first point was not necessarily having a First. While it is easy to think you have other things to do right now and time before you need to think about it, the steps to ensure you are ahead of your peers are simple, but will take time for you to benefit:

  • Look for, and take, any opportunity to get industry related experience during your course, not just during your placement – doubly important if your course does not have one.
  • Attend CPD (Continued Professional Development) seminars ran by your professional body outside of lectures, partly for the information, but also to get in contact with people who are in the trade and of influence.
  • Emphasise your desire to learn the basics in a live environment when talking with people in industry. University will give you them in a teaching one, but the first thing that most Graduates find in their role is that there is a lot of difference between doing a project in class to one in practice!
  • Get involved with LinkedIn groups; it will boost your knowledge and expand your contact base and therefore chances of getting opportunities that others won’t even know about.
  • Learn about the wider world, read beyond the university texts (Twitter is fantastic for this) and maybe start a blog; you could post about your learning process, trends that you see within industry and ideas that you have.

If you want a good example of the above, visit this website and blog: http://www.concretegeek.co.uk/. I came across Charlotte on Twitter and we’ve had a few conversations around the blogs that she has posted on her area of expertise and also thoughts about issues around engineering. Her website is well thought out, brilliantly presented and has a feel of maturity about it; it obviously was not put together a couple of weeks ago as part of a frenzied “I’m graduating in a month and need to get something on the web now” process; I’d guess it has been given a couple of evolutions, a lot of consideration and thought over time.

Her blog posts are well written, thoughtful and show consistency. Similarly on Twitter, Charlotte comes over as professional, conversational and knowledgeable. She is also organising CPD events for the IStructE within her university while as you would expect she has an up to date LinkedIn profile.

If you are studying think about how easy Charlotte will find it to write her CV when looking for work because she has been doing all of the above. If you are an employer you may actually wonder if she’ll need one or just take the suggestion that people look up “Concrete Geek” on the web…

The thing with the ideas above is that they will build your knowledge and profile to the outside world and take you beyond being just another Graduate, which is just what Charlotte has achieved. While going through that process she has created and demonstrated a profile of someone who has really thought about what they are doing, where they are going and want to do. More importantly, it will have given her access to people who can, and will, help her down the line.

As a final thought, if you are entering year one or are near the start of your course and concerned about the future, don’t be. You have a few years to go and in that time the work situation will change while industry will have adjusted to the new economic climate. That means that the world will be a different place to what it is now (for better and hopefully not worse!) and you will have best prepared yourself for it.

Best of luck and enjoy! If you can would like to add any thoughts, comments or advice please feel free to add them below and broaden out the discussion.

(un)Healthy Career Ambition?

This post has been inspired by Mel Starrs (@melstarrs) during a conversation with her on Twitter when she responded to my blog about Youth Unemployment.

Mel is an Associate Director with PRP Architects and is also responsible for elemental, one of the UK’s longest established blogs on the built environment. Mel talked about receiving “frighteningly ambitious CV’s” for an entry level position she was advertising.

She said she found them off putting for the following reasons:

  • The advert is very clear about the duties of the job – almost all the applications expanded the job description to fit their skills – this is no good to me – if I needed someone to do those additional tasks, I would have asked for them – either they aren’t reading the job description and sending their standard CV or are hoping the role will expand to fit their skills. In this market, speculative job positions are few and far between and usually clearly marked.
  • There seems to be a lack of understanding about what projects are actually being built in the UK right now – while high-profile ultra low energy projects are out there, they are few and far between. The keenness to work on this type of project is very strong in most of the CV’s. This is off-putting as I can’t promise them this kind of work – a hint that they’d be equally willing to work on ‘bread and butter’ would be much more useful to me
  • Lots of the people are unemployed, but they don’t seem to bother reading the job description.
  • A number are applying for the position and then saying that they don’t want to do that job, but the next level, or five up – not a great sell…

Mel has made a number of great points, but here’s a thought – if you have put the above in your cover note (which is well worth using as an extension to your CV), your application could be half way to being rejected before your CV has been read!

Taking that your cover note and CV are basically the same in that an employer will judge you on both, not just either one, which is potentially a complete waste of your time as well as the employers.

So what is wrong with showing ambition? Having known Mel for a number of years, I think I’m on safe ground with the following assumptions about Mel and her situation:

  • Mel is as committed to giving her new recruit outstanding training as she is sustainability (check out her blog to see what I mean.)
  • As such, she will be looking to teach the basics, ensure that the new team member has a thorough grasp of them before moving on to more complex and challenging tasks as the recruits confidence, competence and knowledge develops.
  • Her focus will be to give them every opportunity to gain as much experience and knowledge as quickly as they are able to take on and her project workload allows.

So the applicant is showing ambition and Mel is keen to develop that; what is the problem?

  • For a start you won’t differentiate yourself by saying that you want to be the next MD or using your own or the job boards standard cover letter, as you are neither recognising the importance of having sound foundations or demonstrating that you are doing little more than hurling applications to anything that catches your interest.
  • You will stand out by talking about having a genuine enthusiasm for learning the basics before moving on and ensuring your CV/cover note reflects the role.
  • You will stand out even more (for the right reasons) by relating what you’ve done to what the employer does; mention some projects or a connection you have with them or the company.
  • I guarantee that you will get a place on their shortlist for interview, as well as possibly freaking the reader out slightly, if you mention something you’ve found out about the background of the job advertiser, department head or practice head and relate it to your own background. This is not as hard as it sounds thanks to the internet and LinkedIn, it just takes a little thought.

So how does this compare with your experience? Have you found a particularly successful approach whether it is through a volume of applications or focusing on one or two specific roles?

Please share your thoughts and let’s enjoy the conversation.

Youth Unemployment – current action and a call to action!

As you may know this year Calibre Search has committed to being part of the solution to the growing youth unemployment issue. We’ve blogged about what we have been doing and you can find those posts here and here.

As a result of this and working with the Leeds Education Business Partnership (EBP) I’m proud to say that I was invited to join the Leeds Enterprise Action Group.

The aim of the group is to act as a sounding board for the EBP as well as act as advisor’s as to how the EBP can be marketed, development of events and bring in other ideas to keep things fresh and relevant.

The first meeting that I’ve attended was this week and after a re-cap of last year’s successes (6550 children reached, 259 volunteers giving over 1800 hours of their time) we moved on to plans for this year – starting with reaching 9000 children.

There is a good reason for this; statistics and research show that if a young person has 4 contacts with an employer, they are 5 times less likely to drop out of education or training.

One of the key reasons that Jacky and Christine are keen to up the ante so much is that the government has removed work experience as being a statutory requirement due to young people having to be in education, employment or training up to the age of 17 in 2013 and age 18 by 2015.

As a result the government funding for it has been removed. Some schools will continue to send all their students on work experience, while others will target specific groups. Others have decided not to offer work experience at all due to the costs (in Leeds this is £27 per head).

It could be said that £27 is not much to find, but with school budgets being under substantial pressure it is enough to force the school to choose between work experience or another valuable activity. Some would say that raising the participation age (RPA) is a good argument for two periods of work experience, one between ages 14 and 16 and the other between 16 and 18, but there is a funding issue for having just one, never mind two.

How that can be solved time will tell; there are numerous ideas to be explored ranging from parental contributions to employer sponsorship or even applying as a worthy cause for lottery funding.

There was one agenda point that we did not manage to reach so I’m going to ask for your help as it is a key one to help the EBP going forward. What would you suggest as a new activity for the EBP to deliver?

At present they have three events that they run:

  • ‘Interactive Workplace’ –a  career exploration event where different employers run an interactive activity to show the skills they need to work in a particular industry which engages the students and then discuss the career with the students.
  • “You’re Hired”, where students work with a HR volunteer going through an application process complete with mock interview and feedback.
  • “Cashpoints the Money Management Game” which involves students in setting up businesses and learning about the different options that their career decisions leave open to them.

What skills do you think students will benefit from that could be delivered within a volunteer led setting to a group of up to 6 students? Alternatively, do you have an idea for a session lasting up to 3 hours? All ideas are welcome!

Similarly, if you have thoughts regarding work experience placements please share them here and if you are not happy about the changes, why not share your thoughts with your MP too?

Why I felt good about a pessimistic journey…

Last Wednesday, 17th May, was when the last CIBSE Yorkshire meeting was held and presented by Chris Jones who is a Building Services Engineer and a Fellow of the Energy Institute, as well as a Chartered Environmentalist and Incorporated Engineer. He is also one of the most immediately credible speakers who can take his audience on a well reasoned journey at a vast rate of knots I’ve had the pleasure to listen to. If you were not impressed with his knowledge, you would be his passion and commitment to what he was saying.

The talk was titled “Energy – Joining the Dots” and the aim was to look at the global picture around energy use and then bring it back to what services engineers can influence and do on a practical level.

This post has been very difficult to write; before the session I promised to take notes for a friend, while afterwards the best I could manage was a tweet to say it was fantastic, but my notes failed me. After a couple of days sleeping on it, they seem to have found their own sense and so I’ve put fingers to keyboard.

Chris opened up the discussion with the statement that we are currently using up 150% of the earths resources and if things do not change this will increase to 500% by 2050. He then fielded the question; is Shale Gas the answer to solving the 2020 target or should we focus on developing solutions which will cost more, but deliver better payback?

Put it another way, could piling resources and money in to developing these longer term solutions be the best way to spark development and industry that would break the economic deadlock we appear to be in economically?

Moving quickly on, Chris raised the question of how important liquid fuels are, the immediate example being petrol and diesel. He did not dwell on this point, he just mentioned the fuel farce where the threat of fuel strikes was enough to cause panic buying, which in turn closed petrol stations as they had been sucked dry. Ironically, before the presentation, the DECC had announced that talks with Unite had broken down and I was wondering if it would be a case of “here we go again”…

As that thought crossed my mind, Chris was already on to his next one, Carbon trading, and how if it was working properly, with a realistic tariff in place most firms would fold. “Would taxation be a more realistic way forward?” he asked.

We then moved on to the fact that the power generation infrastructure is essentially passed its use by date. A number of nuclear power stations have already had their lives extended, as has gas and coal generators. Where do we go to fill the gap when these units either fail or have to come off line?

Given that the estimated cost of regaining energy security has been put at between £135 billion and £200 billion to get our infrastructure up to scratch it is clear there is no easy answer to find or put in to action.

After a brief discussion regarding the development of renewable sources in other countries, Chris made an eloquent and ironic point by asking a simple question; why do people hate wind so much because it is a blot on the landscape when you consider Fukishima, Chernobyl and that you can’t walk all the way down the beach at Windscale?

We literally whizzed through a number of other aspects which were broadly:

-        Were the Feed In Tariff’s effectively quashed by the big 6 energy companies because they did not want to administer dealing with 1000′s of small generators?

-        Should we just stick with fossil fuel for now in the expectation that more will be found?

-        Is there a connection between economic growth/falls and energy use and is it feasible to have a long term growth economy given the link?

-        We are less effective at extracting energy from a given input; Roman farming would get roughly 1.2 units from every 1 unit put in when we in our high tech age are putting 150 units in to get 6 out. We are getting a benefit though – a substantially smaller part of the population is working on the land for a start.

This took us to the most interesting, alarming and certainly controversial part of the discussion as a whole when talking about Energy Return On Energy Invested (EROEI).

Given the amount of energy taken to implement some renewable technologies, when the EROEI is considered, it is hard to justify going ahead with those schemes. Similarly, when you consider the difficulties that schemes such as wind farms can have getting through planning, the furore over the Green Deal and other schemes aimed at reducing energy use and carbon output, are we just going to carry on walking the same path until we reach the point of no return?

Which leads on to a significant issue; just when is the point of no return? That is a good question. It has been acknowledged that efficiency gains are incremental, while energy use increases are factorial and also that we are passed the point of peak oil and peak gas, without actually knowing it at the time.

Is it possible that when the politically and public will unites to take positive action no matter what it takes, that we don’t have the energy resources to invest in solving the problem? If so, who will bear the brunt of the short fall? Given that in 2010 1 in 5 families were in fuel poverty and this figure rose to 1 in 4 in 2011 it is possibly not going to take a lot of working out. In isolation those figures in themselves are remarkable – would you ever have thought that 25% of families would be considered in poverty of any description?

So what is the answer? There wasn’t one, but the point of resource use taxation was raised and against this background, looking at just this one area, it is hard to argue with.

The one answer which can not be argued with at the end of the day is that considering recycling, energy, carbon, water, pollution in isolation is a start, but the only long term way forward is to simply reduce the amount of resources that we use as a whole. Why? Even if you do not believe in global warming, peak oil and the other concerns regarding what is bundled as “green issues” or matters for the “hair shirt brigade”, being environmental gluttons is becoming socially unacceptable and expensive; the time when demonstrating your green credentials was having a recycle bin in the office and an ignored environmental policy on your website are long gone.

It could be considered to be a very pessimistic evening, full of doom and gloom. It almost felt that way, but I considered it more as listening to someone who knew considerably more than I did spelling it out in simple terms, you might say, sitting me down and telling me how it is.

There was an optimistic note when Chris rounded it off with a thought on a different subject which made us all smile; as a species, when faced with a problem, why do we only actually become focused on fixing it when it becomes a crisis? The bit that made us smile – thankfully, he said, we are quite good at it!

So where do you stand? Within the office, this piece sparked debate before it was written when I was outlining it to the team. There are lots of questions and it would be good to see your answers so the debate can continue.

As a question of my own, how do you see Building Services Engineers being able to contribute to solving the problem, or in fact, the building design industry as a whole?

I hope you’ll share your thoughts!

Does the wind of change truly blow cold?

Calibre Search - Does the wind of change always blow cold?

Does the wind of change truly blow cold?

One thing that the recession has done (amongst many others), is force change upon us all; some of it welcome and some of it not so.

I recently wrote a blog about a looming skills gap (click here to read it) and identified 3 groups that appeared to be particularly hit by the first rounds of staff cutbacks, one of which was people in the twilight of their career, or who are sometimes referred to as “Lifer’s”. In that blog I did not take the opportunity to explore the assets that this group has which others just can not possess:

- Long service: Within construction as a whole, anyone who has been with an employer for more than 10 years would qualify as a Lifer.

- Experience: Generally a good thing, but also a double edge sword; have you been doing many things during your career or the same thing for many years?

- Stabilising influence: If you have been with one employer for a significant length of time, the chances are you will be one.

This is, and should be considered all good, but in this climate of change, we have noticed that some employers are specifically looking for people who have demonstrated dealing with it throughout their careers. While everyone has change in their roles over time, this may not necessarily be portrayed on a CV and can be difficult to do so within an interview situation if you don’t think about it before hand.

Before you can consider explaining change in your career and therefore your CV and as part of interview preparation, you need to think about what change you have dealt with previously, and how this is exceptional, or at least matches that, of others who have moved companies more often or dealt with a broader range of schemes.

Classic examples are promotion, changing project team or having a new manager, but these changes are typically incremental or predictable. To demonstrate an uprooting as you would have experienced when changing roles takes more thought.

TUPE transfers are often over looked, but typically there is great upheaval. The period of uncertainty during the process; colleagues leaving and the concern about your own position coupled with the integration with your own and the new companies policies, procedures and personnel. Relocating between offices presents a similar opportunity too, especially with a franchise organisation with an umbrella branding, but each individual unit operating with their own autonomy.

Believe it or not,Redundancy is never pleasent, particularly if you are not familiar with job searching the key one that most people who have been made redundant miss is being made redundant. There is the transition from stable employment to conducting a full job search when it may be a decade of more since you were last in that position, as well as the massive uncertainty that goes with it. If that does not qualify as change, what does?

Louise Ebrey, a Change Facilitator, comments:

“When you’re asked about how you cope with change, it can be difficult to think of examples. I often suggest people think about when they’ve had to adapt the ways they work or live to changing circumstances or to get something they wanted out of life. Adapt seems to be an easier thing for people to relate to than change. Other questions you could ask yourself include; “How have you helped move yourself, your team or your organisation from a stuck place?” or “What’s different in your role when you compare it to 5 or even 10 years ago – what changes happened along the way?”

It is possible to show you want change, even to people who think you have not experienced it!

Another way to think about this is to turn it on its head and think about the changes you’ve been dying to see, but which haven’t happened. What’s the opportunity in this new role for those? What can you bring to help make this happen? Giving examples of how you’ve been frustrated by the lack of change and are looking forward to a new environment will help demonstrate your openness to change in the new role”

What Louise has added is two crucial factors; that while the past can’t be altered, you can control how you present it and while it may appear that you have not courted change, you can demonstrate your desire for it.

You may find within an interview that change is not mentioned and that there is an opportunity to bring it in to focus yourself. Seize that moment; it could be the elephant in the meeting room… If your comment is picked up by the interviewer, you have taken the initiative and addressed something that they wish to probe. If not, you have tried and it is either a non-issue for the employer, or it is something they will cover later in the interview.

Whether the wind of change truly blows cold or not, is a good question; but with thought, preparation and consideration it is certainly possible to warm it up and make the most of it.

The whole issue of addressing change within this situation is relatively new and unexplored. While the above is merely my own and Louise’s thoughts, it would be great to hear your own and about what you have experienced.

Are you a “Lifer” who has suddenly found yourself looking for work, or, an employer who has been looking at a “Lifer’s” CV; what were you thoughts and actions? What advice would you give to others?

Louise Ebrey is originally from an Engineering background and has become facilitator and coach to Internal Consultants, Specialists and Advisors to reach their potential and achieve better results for their organisations. Louise also advises in the field of Business Improvement solutions combining her extensive experience in Business Improvement and Lean, with
NLP, strategic change and people development.

She recently co-founded the Great Insiders tribe where Internal Consultants can meet, share experience, learn from each other and hear from expert speakers. Find out more at http://www.greatinsiders.com, on LinkedIn or Follow them on Twitter. Louise can also be contacted directly louise.ebrey@bridgewaterlattitude.com or or follow her on Twitter.

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