Blue Sky Update – Feb 2021

It is Spring 2021, everyone????.

Here it is, February’s recap of my life as a career coach, writer, and human being.  I have had a busy month responding to potential opportunities, and only time will tell if they all work out.

Update – Friday 5th February 2021

Who else listens to music while they work?

I do most of my admin and writing to music. I have over three hundred tracks on Spotify and regularly listen through my headphones. I find it helps me to tune out the rest of the world without getting in my way.  The only time I don’t have music piping through my headphones is when I am coaching.

My tracks are on random shuffle – so there is no need for me to stop and choose. But for the last couple of weeks, I have been trying something a little different. I have been tuning into complete albums, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret, and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

The Marriage of Figaro has been a revelation for me because if I am working on something emotionally and or intellectually challenging, this album somehow eases me through it.

So, I am curious, how does music contribute to your working day?

Update – Friday 12th February 2021

 The Energy Investment Model

Occasionally, I like to explore models of behaviour that I believe to be relevant to work and careers. And for this month, it is all about energy and where you might be choosing to invest it in times of organisational change. So below is a small extract from my latest post on Careerresilience.

‘Today’s blog is the first of three on the ‘Energy Investment’ model (1) and how it might relate to the choices you make during organisational change. First, let me ask:

  • How much has your organisation been affected by the Pandemic?
  • How much are you engaging with these changes?
  • How is it affecting you and those around you?


If any of the above applies to you, the Investment model might help you assess your response to the change and how it might be affecting those around you.’

To read more, please click here. 

Any comments, observations are more than welcome.


Update: Friday 19th February 2021

Person Specification

How do you approach that space at the end of a job application? The A4, chasm, inviting you to show why you are interested in their role and how your skills and experience meet their person specification.’

Does your heart sing or sink when you see this?

If truth be told, my heart sinks, but there is a job to be done, so:

  • Allow yourself enough time to pull it together; you will need it. My brain needs time to process and craft a response.
  • Be rigorous; address each criterion; make sure you demonstrate your competency for each one. Use Say – Situation, Action and Yield (outcome) or CAR – Challenge, Action, Result.
  • Tell your story, weave in your why and how your values support the organisation’s
  • Stick to the character limits or space constraints specified by the organisation. There are no ‘brownie points for going over word limits.
  • Check, check and check again before submitting.


Update – Friday 26th February 2021

How long is your working day?

As I am self-employed, I am fortunate to have far greater control over my working day. So, when I noticed my stress levels rising recently around juggling various projects, I could make some changes. I have the freedom to rejig my working days, and based on the ‘less is more’ maxim, I have created core hours that will fit with my usual sleep patterns and when I am more naturally alert. I am not naturally an early riser.

I have a daily routine, accepting that for me, at least, ‘less is more,’ less time in front of a screen is better. I have 6 hours as my core time, including breaks. Anything worthwhile that emerges after this is a bonus.

It is probably too early to say, but I think I am getting more done. The sense of relief is immense as I let go of the need to be glued to my screen for the whole day. It is okay to walk away and do something completely different.

I also found this article on shorter working days, and I think now more than ever we should be revisiting this.

Until next month