Blue Sky Update – December 2019

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer and human being

Update – Friday 1st November 2019

What a great way to break up the week, with a night out at our local comedy club, Comic Boom, at the Komedia, Brighton. It’s only the second time, we’ve managed to make it since I attended Jill Edward’s two-day stand-up course at the start of this year.

Seeing the different acts, some more experienced and polished than others reminded me that with comedy as in all things, it’s all about making a start.  Then seeing where it takes you. As I’ve just updated this post relating comedy to business, I thought I’d share it again:

I’m going back for another stand-up course in the new year. It will be a fantastic start to 2020.

Update – Friday 8th November 2019

To date, I have 30 or so articles posted directly onto LinkedIn, something I was doing quite regularly until about eighteen months ago.  I only stopped when I noticed that both my reach and engagement, had dropped like a stone. But now I’m curious to see how the LinkedIn algorithm is functioning.

So, just for the hell of it. I have dusted off and published a short piece entitled:

Five habits of strong career progression

Today, it’s all about helping you to become more strategic and proactive in managing your career. Putting you in charge, so you are in the best possible position to thrive when change comes. As it always does.

As a career coach, I enjoy and take pride in watching people, manage their career and life with greater confidence, energy and focus. So, here are the five habits as I see them:

Habit One:

Build and maintain a strong network. Take the time to form relationships based on genuine interests and liking. Be prepared to offer help as well as receive it. Successful relationships are always a two-way process. You never know when someone might be able to provide that crucial bit of help or information. Just as importantly, that person might be you.

Habit Two:

Start to take control and ownership of your career, the person who has the biggest stake in it is you. Be realistic and honest with yourself about where the responsibility lies. You may need to be the one who initiates feedback sessions with your boss, or who asks for additional responsibility or asks to become involved in a project of interest.

Habit Three:

Learn to think of yourself as a brand, if you had to design a marketing campaign for yourself, what key messages would you want to get across? Become comfortable with knowing your strengths, your achievements and as importantly, being able to talk fluently about them.

Habit Four:

Take regular stock of where you are with your work and career, both emotionally and intellectually. Are you still excited by your work, is it challenging, or are you becoming a bit bored and tired with it?

Are you springing out of bed in the mornings, or is work becoming a real drag? Pinpoint causes of dissatisfaction and areas of satisfaction and see what you can do to minimise one and enhance the other.

Habit Five:

Carry out regular audits of your skills and knowledge. Ask yourself; what do I know, can I do now that I couldn’t six months ago? What have I achieved? What new things can I add to my CV? It might even be worth setting up a learning file so that you can keep track and reference when needed.

Those are my five, and I’d be delighted to hear of any new habits that you would include.

Update: Friday 15th November 2019

I was going to have a moan about receiving unsolicited advice on LinkedIn but decided on balance that life is too short.

Instead, I’d rather talk about my first official Christmas works do in over twenty years. Usually, at around this time of year, I start to feel a bit of a ‘Billy no mates.’ One of the few drawbacks of working for yourself, you could end up pulling a cracker by yourself.

So, having spent the last year working with a fantastic team, to support vulnerable young women.  I’ll be heading off with them in December to enjoy a well- deserved evening out.

I’m excited to be celebrating the end of the year with them and look forward to seeing what 2020, brings.

Update – Friday 22nd November 2019

 ‘The moonlit flooded sky was enough.’

It’s out there somewhere my response to a Twitter challenge, write a story about a picture in six words or less. But it wasn’t until I’d hit the send button that I remembered the LinkedIn challenge that I participated in around three/four years ago.

Cannot remember who, but someone stuck up a challenge to write a story in 50 words or less and at the time I came up with, ‘the woman who turned her husband into a dog.’ I must have been having a moment, though I’m rushing this a little as I’m heading out to meet said husband for lunch.

But the reason for sharing this; is that LinkedIn challenge started me on stories and caused me to think differently about writing. Over the years, I have picked up clients here and there through LinkedIn, but much more than that, I’ve picked up ideas and different perspectives to work and life in general.

So, thank you again, LinkedIn.

Update – Friday 29th November 2019

It’s taken over thirty years, but yesterday I finally visited Hatfield Poly where I studied engineering in the early 80s.

Now known as the University of Hertfordshire, to say it’s changed is putting it mildly. The Elephant House was one of the few places I could still clearly remember, spent quite a lot of my time here. I did also manage to peek at the workshops where I spent eight weeks producing a bench vice and a toolbox. To say my career has changed is putting it mildly, but this is where it all started for me.