Posts By: WallerJ

Career Change Ideas

If you are looking for career change ideas, much depends on your own preferences, skills and willingness to retrain. And of course, it depends on how much money you need to earn or in some cases, how much you have to invest in study or training.

The first step is to decide what sort of changes you want in your new career. Do you want to travel, use existing skills or learn new ones? Have you been stuck inside an office for most of your working life and now want a job which gets you out and about or puts you into a completely different environment, such as a hospital or school or a location outdoors?

Have you been teaching all your life and want a break? Perhaps you’d like a job which involves writing or painting or working with machines or information rather than with people. Or if you’ve been behind a computer for all of your working life, you might want to get out there and work face to face with kids or adults.

If you enjoy working with people, here are some suggestions which could be good career change ideas for you:

Teaching English abroad is a popular choice for people who want to do something interesting and different, as this gives you the opportunity to travel. You do need initial training, preferably an accredited TEFL certificate and although the pay isn’t great, you could spend a few years travelling to different parts of the world. It’s a great way to travel if you need to work to pay your way.

Working at summer camps or after school activities for children. With more parents having or choosing to work, many children and young people are actively engaged in out of school activities, whether after school or during holidays.

Care for elderly people is a growth area as more of us are living to a much greater age. However, this does not only mean working in care homes with those who are infirm, it also could mean helping older people to stay healthy, keep occupied in retirement and make money to support the pensions shortfall. So it may be possible to use your existing skills to create services for this growing group of the population.

Career change ideas often involve the need to retrain, but nowadays everyone has to keep up to date with developments in their profession. So training is part of life.

However, a whole new career can involve considerable investment in training. The good news is that there are now numerous ways in which you can get those needed qualifications, including online learning, part time courses and evening classes.

You can learn all sorts of things, like computer programming, web design, how to build mobile apps, without ever leaving home. So if technology interests you, it’s a definite possibility and something you can learn while staying in your current job.

In fact, you can acquire a huge number of new skills online, often for no or little cost.

But skills alone aren’t enough and so you’ll have to get out there and get some experience.

Volunteering is a great way to do this and can be done in your spare time. It’s also a great way to find out if you’d enjoy a particular career. Of course, many careers can’t be experienced directly by volunteering, especially before you’ve done the required training, but volunteering in an environment where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of your potential new career will teach you a lot.

So you might do a few shifts as an orderly in a hospital to get the opportunity to see doctors and nurses at work and to talk to them about their jobs.

 

Hosting Your Website

At this stage, buy the cheapest package. You can think about upgrading later as your business grows and as you understand the ins and outs of hosting. There are hundreds of hosting companies out there. If you have a friend who has a site and recommend a host, that’s a good place to start. And you can change hosts later if you aren’t happy.

Otherwise, look for articles comparing companies.

I’ve been using hostgator for a few years and haven’t had any major problems. However, some people have reported problems.

A2 has been recommended as a good alternative, but I haven’t used them yet. So check them out as well as any others your friends or articles recommend.

Managed WordPress hosting v Shared Hosting

Managed hosting is apparently more secure, with more support and faster loading, but it is more expensive and has some limitations.

Shared hosting just means your site is on a server with other sites. I use this type of hosting with cPanel.

I like cPanel because it allows me to create more than one installation of WordPress without any extra cost. This is useful if you want to add a members area or set up a shop, using a different theme specially designed for these functions.

This would be set up as :

members.annesmith.uk or

annesmith.uk/members

It’s also great if at some point you decide to give your site a makeover. You can start from scratch in a directory, use a new theme and redesign the whole site, taking as long as you need.

Your original site remains in place and when the new version is ready, you just clone it and move it to replace the original – no down time.

As far as I understand, you can’t do this with managed wordpress hosting, you’d have to pay for additional installations.

But before you buy, do ask any questions – hosts should have a link for presales enquiries. So if something isn’t clear, be sure to ask.

Upsells

Buying your basic package – you’ll be offered various options, such as daily backups, security and email addresses. The only one I might consider buying at this point is the https, but do some research first – there are free ways to do this, but they can be complicated. Some hosts might include it in the basic passage. Most of these options cost the same if you buy them later, but hostgator charge more if you add https later. So make sure you check this out with the hosts you are considering, for all the upsells they offer.

You can create free backups, set up security for free and also free email.

So don’t buy them for now, check out the free options and if you want to buy any of the add ons later, you can do so.

Next you have to link your hosting and your domain. Go to the site where you bought the domain, find Change DNS and copy and the DNS (domain name servers) sent to you in an email from the hosting company.

If you’d like a set of pdfs taking you through domain names and hosting, you can download them here:

I use hostgator and godaddy in the pdfs, but the steps for other companies should be fairly similar.

If you need help with your website, you might like to consider my special offers:

Special Offer for WordPress Sites

Some links on my site are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you buy using my link.

Have you been thinking about setting up a website, either a blog or a site to sell products or services? Perhaps as a way to earn some extra income, with a view to eventually becoming self-employed? If so you need to think about how you should go about building your online presence – your website.

 When thinking about setting up a blog or other website there are

4 main things you need to think about:

  • Domain name  – url or address, for example google.com
  • Hosting – physical space on a server
  • Software to build the site – WordPress – no coding needed.
  • Content – images, text, videos all the information you put on your site

If you don’t have your own photos you can get royalty free images for commericall use on pixabay.com or unsplash.com.

Today, we’ll take a look at your domain name

Domain Name

Buy your domain name and hosting separately, from different companies. They all offer free domain names, but technically the name doesn’t belong to you and so you might have problems if you decide to move to a different host later.  I’ve done this a couple of times and you might find you’re happy with the host initially, but after a while the support isn’t as good as it used to be.

Choose a domain name that is not too long, easy to remember and easy to type – no hyphens.

Expect to pay around £10 or $10 per year for your domain name.  If possible, get a .com, or a local extension such as .ca, .uk or .us.

If your business has a name, use that for your domain, otherwise your own name is a good option. If it’s taken, add a middle initial or a word eg annejsmith.com or annesmithcoaching.com.

You can also use a catchy phrase describing what you do.

wordpress media libarary

If your chosen domain is taken, watch out for expensive extensions, such as .online, .store or .london.

You’ll be offered a reduction for the first year and so it might be very cheap, but read the small print directly underneath for the ongoing or retail price. Some extensions cost over £40 or $40 per year.

Buy only one domain name – you’ll be offered a special deal if you buy more.  For example, let’s say you’ve chosen annesmith.uk and are then offered annesmith.info, annesmith.net and annesmith.co for a special price.

YOU DON’T NEED THEM

These are scare tactics – I once had an email from a company in China telling me that someone was about to buy around ten different extensions related to my website. They were very kindly offering me first refusal, which needless to say they got!

Especially with so many new and expensive domain extensions, I think it’s highly unlikely that any of your competitors are going to pay out hundreds a year to redirect these domains to their own in an attempt to put you out of business!!

And remember – don’t sweat about the perfect domain name – people will buy because they like you, not because they like your domain name.

ICANN fee – you’ll be charged 18 cents (US) and 14p (UK) per year or your local equivalent. Everyone has to pay this.

You can choose to buy for more than one year – double check the price to make sure you haven’t inadvertantly picked an expensive extension.

Don’t buy hosting or an email address.

Prices do seem to vary. So you can shop around – the ongoing cost is the most important one to watch out for.

You can search for domain names or domain registrars and then compare them. Some examples are godaddy.com, domainspricedright.com and namecheap.com, but you can buy from any you choose.

Bottom line: buy one domain name and nothing else. Unless you really want and can afford one of the newer extensions, go for one at around £10 or $10.

Next time, we’ll look at hosting.

Need help with your website?

If you don’t want the stress of setting up your own website, I’ve got a special offer you might like to think about:

Get your business online quickly with my special offer:

A one page site for £275 (approx $360 US) or 5 pages for £550. (approx $720 US)

Both can be expanded as your business grows.

Each site comes with a slider, a drag and drop pagebuilder – including the capacity to create page templates for easy reuse and editing – a contact form and a privacy policy.

And as well as instructions for the pagebuilder, adding plugins etc, I’ll send you tutorials for setting up security, backup and email.

No ongoing fees, but I’m available at an hourly rate if you need further help. So no need to be overwhelmed or to spend a fortune.

For full details go to

Businessblueprint101.com/special-offer

And get in touch for a free, no obligations chat to discuss your future site.

Have you ever thought you could start a tutoring business?

If you have your own children or enjoy spending time with other people’s kids, and have skills in relevant subjects, you could think about setting up a children’s tutoring business.  For example, if you are good at maths or English, which many children struggle with, you could be in demand. And of course, if you were a teacher in the past, you’d be an ideal candidate for this type of work.

With school classrooms becoming more crowded, parents are worried about their children’s learning and afraid they may be falling behind. As a result, many of them are on the lookout for a tutor who can give them one on one support. Private tutoring may also be necessary to help a child gain a place at a particular school or college.

Also, more and more parents are now homeschooling their children, which means they need help with subjects they can’t teach themselves.

Changes in the Job Market

With the volatile job market, these days an increasing number of people are anxious to develop new skills to give themselves an edge in the employment market. And many parents are concerned that if their children are not getting top grades at school, they will struggle to do well as adults.

So it is no surprise that there is a big demand for private tutors. tarting a tutoring business is a great way of capitalizing on your existing  knowledge and education. In fact, if you have any skill or information which is in demand, you could make some extra cash teaching it to others. And it is a business which can be started in your spare time.  If you enjoy it and find there is a demand, it could develop into a full-time business venture.

What Experience Do You Need?

You will need to have some experience of teaching, even if it is informal, as it’s important to know that you are good at explaining things to someone else. You’ll also need to be very patient and able to break complex material down into easy steps.

Have you ever taught someone to ride a bike, bake a cake or build a model aeroplane? How well did you do?  If you have absolutely no experience, it would be a good idea to find a friend or family member to whom you could give a couple of trial lessons in your chosen subject.   Teaching also requires plenty of preparation and so you’ll need some practice at creating interesting lessons.  If you are teaching exam subjects, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the syllabus and past exam papers. There are also plenty of opportunities to teach adults. These days everyone has to continue their education and develop new skills in order to keep up with changes in technology and to stay employable in a very unstable world. So it’s not just kids who are in need of tutoring.

You don’t need any specific training, but if you want to teach an academic subject, a degree a relevant area would be an advantage, especially if you are teaching students studying for a degree. And you will need to get on well with people in your chosen age group, be patient and have the ability to explain things clearly.

Finding Students

To begin with, you can tell people about your tutoring service and you are likely to get your first students through your own network of contacts, for example friends, church and other social groups. You can also advertise on local bulletin boards or in local newspapers, or colleges, depending on your topic. Once you get started and your students are successful in reaching their goals, you will start getting referrals and won’t have to spend much on advertising.

You can also use the internet to find students. There are many sites where you can set up a profile and offer your teaching via skype.

Just about any subject which is taught at college or is useful for career development can be used in a tutoring business. Helping students revise for exams, teaching employees new computer skills, or working with someone to help their communication skills are all possible areas in which you could develop a business.

Hobbies, sports and crafts are all areas in which you can offer tutoring. So expand your thinking to include any type of skill that you have and that other people really want to gain or improve.  So you need to base your business on those of your skills which are in demand.  But this demand does not need to be local as you can just as easily tutor your students over the internet, if the subject is suitable. You can create videos if you need to show people practical steps, such as crafts, cooking or computer-related skills.

 This is a relatively low-cost business and one you can start in your spare time. So no need to give up the day job just yet!  You can arrange lessons in the evenings and on weekends.

If you think this is the right business for you, find out more here.

Need a website to launch your tutoring business online? I’ve got a great offer that will get you set up in no time and it’s a great price!  One page – all you need to get started for £275 or 5 pages for £550 if you’re ready for more.

Check it out here:  Special offer

If you want to change your career, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead of you.

There are opportunities out there, but often you can’t see them, or they seem unreachable, with qualifications you couldn’t hope to get.

If you are over 40 or 50 and have commitments like a mortgage and your kids’ eduction to think about, the possibility of making a change in direction can seem impossible.

There are so many things to think about, that you might decide it’s not even worth considering.

So let’s simplify things and break this down into 6 steps.

Step #1 Deciding What you Want to Do

We usually don’t make this the most important factor when thinking about a career. We start off with things like is there a demand? What’s the pay like? Do I have the right qualifications or can I get them?

Instead, think about the type of work you enjoy. What have you loved about jobs you’ve had in the past? (and what have you hated!)

Are there specific skills that you want to use, but haven’t been able to? Or perhaps only used occasionally?

Who or what do you want to work with? Most jobs involve using computers these days, but are you happy to sit at one all day? Or would you prefer a job where you have a lot of contact with people? And if so, what kind of people – kids, teenagers, adults? And in what capacity –teacher, healer, adviser, helper?  Or perhaps you’d like ot work with animals or with machines. Numbers or words might be your thing. Or a combination of several of these?

Think about location, dress code and flexibility of working hours, as well as benefits on offer, like a gym or a creche. And of course, you can add in salary etc.

Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want, go to the next step.

Step#2 Research

Now it’s time to do some research, to help you find the type of work that would fit in with what you

If your idea is still very broad, try looking for the most important points on your list. So for skills or activities you really want to include, you could search for jobs involving travel or writing or maths – whatever your own skills and interests happen to be.

You might not find everything in one place, but the closer you can get to the ideal, the better. Decide which factors are non-negotiable, which are preferable and which are not so important. If you prioritize at this stage, you’re less likely to make bad choices later.

When you find careers that sound interesting and match your most important criteria, check them out as carefully as you can. Luckily you can find this information online. If at all possible, talk to someone already in the career – you might find a contact through friends or through social media.

Step#3 Job Searching

Once you’re ready, it’s time to start looking for a job. It might be your ideal job or a step on the way towards that job. That step might be a job where you can gain some valuable skills or experience – areas you need to develop before moving to the job you really want.

Decide the type of job best suited to move you towards your goals and create your job search strategy. Where are the right jobs for you advertised? Check the online newspapers and job boards, but don’t forget that social media, especially LinkedIn can be better sources of potential employment.

Networking is one of the best ways to find a job and so it’s important to make sure everyone you know is aware of the fact that you are looking. And be sure to keep up those online contacts. Some companies ask friends for recommendations when they are hiring and it can also be worth sending in a speculative letter, especially if you feel you have very specific skills that would help a company.

Step#4 Applying

Now it’s time to start applying for jobs. Applying means writing the best CV or job application you can for this specific job. Make sure you target your application to meet the skills the employer is looking for. Is this something you need help with?  I have several affordable offers here. http://www.wallerjamison.com/cv-writing/

Step#5 Preparing for Interviews

When you are invited to attend an interview it’s a great feeling. But you still have to be well prepared.

Take time to go through the job description and person specification in detail. Sometimes you’ll have been given a list of essential skills and where these will be tested – either your application or at the interview itself.

Make sure you go over every interview related skill and think about how it might be tested. With things like typing, this will probably be a straightforward practical test.

Other softer skills will be tested by questioning, often giving you a scenario that could occur and asking how you would deal with it. This isn’t so easy to prepare, but with the help of a friend you should be able to come up with some ideas.

And even if the question isn’t exactly the one you thought of, the fact that you’ve done some preparation and thought about situations you might encounter will definitely help.

Make sure you know exactly where the interview will be held and how to get there. Have your clothes washed and pressed in good time. Don’t carry too much with you and make sure your phone is charged just in case you are unavoidably delayed.

Step#6 Review

If you have a job at this stage, all that’s needed is a quick review – what went well? Was there anything you could have done better? Perhaps you didn’t get the job you really wanted – what could you do to improve your chances next time?

And if things haven’t gone so well, go back through the previous steps to see if you missed anything important. It could be that you are still stuck in what you should do, rather than what you could do. If you don’t really want a job, your lack of enthusiasm could show. 

Try tracing back from your goal to today and work out all the experience and skills you need to reach your goal. Then look at jobs where you could gain those skills. they might not be ideal, but if they take you a step closer, you’ll be on the right track.

If you’d like some help, consider career coaching. Get in touch for a free 30 minute chat to see if you’d like to work with me. http://www.wallerjamison.com/contact-us/

Setting Your Career Goals

Setting your career goals  and then working towards them could take you on a circuitous path. Life doesn’t follow a nicely laid out plan! One of the most important things you can do, is to be flexible.

Making goals that are too rigid can set you up for failure and disappointment, but missing a self-imposed deadline is not a failure if you adapt your plans and reach your goal a bit later than anticipated. Life has a habit of getting in the way and if unavoidable obstacles appear on the way, don’t beat yourself up. Simply move the goalposts and keep moving towards them.

Examples of obstacles that hold you up are illness, family crises, losing a job due to redundancy perhaps as a result of changes in the economy, not passing an exam first time..

But there are so many less obvious obstacles that can get in the way of what we want to achieve in life. These obstacles include other people’s attitudes, our past failures, our fears and our levels of self esteem.

So how do we overcome the more subtle obstacles which stand between us and our dreams? The following 3 steps will help you move towards your goals more quickly and ultimately achieve success.

Step #1. Decide What You Really Want

So often we allow others to dictate what is right for us and we choose our goals accordingly. Parents and teachers are well meaning in their efforts to guide us in the right direction in terms of career and study, but ultimately only we ourselves know what it is we truly want. So if you find yourself being influenced by others when it comes to making major decisions which will affect your entire future, take a step back. Weigh up the advice of others and then look at it in the light of your own dreams. It is important to follow your own heart.

Step #2. Don’t Just Write Your Goals 

setting career goals

Writing your goals is sometimes promoted as the thing separating success from failure, but just writing your goals on a piece of paper is not enough. How many times have you made a list of new year’s resolutions and then forgotten all about themd?

You have to look at each goal closely and then figure out how to move from where you are right now to wherever it is you really want to be. This step is crucial with long term goals and any goals that are really challenging. If you don’t know the steps you’ll need to take to achieve this type of goal, you could lose your way. So  try this: create an action plan, moving backwards from your ultimate goal.

For example, you might want a high level job in a specific industry. In order to get that job, you’ll need a mid-level job, several years of experience and possibly some qualifcations. What is the step before that? And before that? How will you get the experience and the qualifications? Keep working back till you get to today.

There will be a step you can take right away, however small. It might just be researching a course or a career or applying for a job that is the first rung on the ladder.

Step #3. Learn How to Take Action

Now that you have your action plan, you must actually start taking action!

Taking action is vital if you are to achieve your goal, but it can be difficult to know which action to take. This is where your background research in step 2 is so important – you need to know how to get from A to B.

Your Action Plan should break your goal into small, manageable steps which you can take today, this week and this month.. These should help you create the result you want over several months or years, depending of course, on the actual goal. You should also design some mini goals – things you can do quickly

So remember that deciding what you truly want, not only writing your goals, but also researching them and creating your action plan is the key to success.

And don’t forget your plan isn’t written in stone! No-one can really tell in advance if a career is right for them and you might well change your mind along the way. Just don’t make any hasty decisions and examine the reasons you want to change course.

Are you clear about your own career goals? Or could you use some help?
Get in Touch for a Free 30 minute phone or Skype call

Back to Study for Adults

Most people hope that their days of studying are over once they leave school or college, but with the way in which the world of work is changing, today’s young people can expect to have to retrain 7 times.  And yes, that’s retrain for a new career, not just get a new job!

And those who are a bit older will find they have a lot of catching up to do if they are contemplating a change of career or a return to work after bringing up a family.

However, on the positive side, there are now many new opportunities for study and training. Starting college in your 30s, 40s or older is no longer unusual and there is plenty of support available for students who haven’t opened a textbook or written an essay for years.

Starting College as an Adult

There are options to suit every lifestyle – evening classes, modular courses, distance learning, online learning, day-release courses – making it possible to fit studying around childcare or a full-time job.

The first step in planning your course is to find out exactly what you need for your chosen career or business. There are many new colleges springing up both on and offline and it’s important to be sure you make the right choice.

You need to be sure that the qualifications are accepted by the industry you wish to enter or will give you the best possible chance when setting up your business. One way to do this is to approach potential employers. For example, if you want to work for a specific company or in a particular industry, get in touch with the company HR or the professional association for the industry and ask if the course or qualification you are considering is acceptable. No point in wasting time and money on something that’s not going to further your career.

Starting Part-time

If you haven’t studied for a long time, the prospect may seem daunting, but you don’t have to throw yourself into a full time course or work towards a degree immediately.

If you can’t afford to go to college full-time, you can earn your degree online at a wide choice of universities, many of them already established in the real world, whilst others operate only in cyberspace.

And once you have started your course, you’ll have to get to grips with study skills and will benefit from our Basic Essay Writing Guide and information on effective essay writing techniques.

Studying might also mean training to gain a new skill in a vocational area or a transferable skill such as improving written and oral communication or learning how to give a presentation.

One of the Biggest Problems Faced by Job Seekers!

When you are looking for a new job, you might have to complete an application form, which includes a personal or supporting statement. Often this is a full page – an empty A4 page that you have to fill in to prove you should be given an interview.

This can be very scary!  How on earth do you fill it in?

Don’t panic – it’s not as difficult as you think.

Read the instructions!

Very often, employers will give you a detailed description of exactly what you should include in your personal statement. If so, read it carefully, photocopy the form (if you have to send in a hard copy).

If you haven’t been given instructions, read this section and the next one, under the  heading No Instructions.

Take some scrap paper or use your computer word processing programme.

List the heading you’ve been given.

Now write notes on each point under the heading

Remember to use examples to highlight your skills and experience.

When you have finished, leave your statement for a while, preferably overnight. Then go back and read what you have written. Does it sound convincing? Have you covered every point and given the employer a reason to interview you?

If not, go back and focus more on results you have achieved, important skills you have that the employer needs and show (don’t say!) how your experience makes you ideal for the job. Don’t say you are hard working, punctual etc. Instead show that you have the qualities needed by giving examples.

You can write a short conclusion to include any other important information you feel contributes towards your application.

No Instructions?

If you don’t have any instructions, don’t despair. You need to prove that you can do the job well, by addressing all the points in the person specification.

So make your own list of headings, based on the essential aspects of the person specification – in other words, the skills and experience they are asking for.

Under each heading, write strong statements, proving that you have what it takes. You do this by giving examples of when and how you demonstrated those skills and experience.

If you can, use figures, for example I increased sales by 50% in 6 months, or exam results by 20% in my first year.

As above, you can include anything extra in a short conclusion.

After a break, read what you’ve written and ask, if I were the employer, would I interview this person? If not, go back and improve what you’ve written.

Check that your statement will fit the space provided (or a little more if you are told you can use an additional sheet). Do this on the photocopy or downloaded copy if applying online.

When you are satisfied, double check spelling and grammar and type or write up your final version.

As you can see, it’s not as complicated as it seems! It just involves a bit more time and effort than writing a CV. With practice, you’ll become faster. You can save all your examples to use on other applications. Just be careful not to copy and paste – only use them when they are relevant to the specific job. You can adapt them if necessary.

Need Some Help?

My CV  Writing Course includes how to write covering letters and application forms, as well as CVs.

Get it for only £10 and improve your chances of getting a job dramatically!

 

 

 

If you’d like to make your jobsearch a little more fun, here’s a tip: Word clouds can help you find the most important words mentioned in a job description, enabling you to tailor your CV or Résumé

Find a Job Description

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Find a relevant job description – you can use one for a job you intend to apply for or, if you are creating a generic CV or an online profile, find something close to your ideal job. I searched for “Office Manager job description”. Make sure you get an actual job description, rather than a site explaining how to create a job description!

Copy the Job Description

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Once you’ve found a job description like the one above, highlight and copy the whole thing.

Go to wordle.net

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Next, got to wordle.net and click Create to create your own word cloud.

Paste in the Job Description

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Paste in the relevant job description.

Run

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When you hit Go, the box above will appear. Choose Run. If you don’t want the box to appear every time you use Wordle, tick the Do not show this again box on the left.

Your Word Cloud Appears

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The larger the words, the more important they are for this particular job. They are the ones you’ll need to include in your profile or job application, or on your CV or Résumé . How about “maintaining the effeciency of office records” 🙂 Always double check with the description to make sure you have covered everything. This is really important when you are creating a word cloud for a job that you are actually applying for, rather than a cloud for a generic CV.

Hit Randomize for Different Views and Colours

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You can hit Randomize a few times until you get a version you find easy to read.

So,what do you think? Using Word Cloud to help your jobsearch is actually quite cool, as well as useful 🙂

Good News – You Can’t Do Anything You Want

How many times have you heard or read “You can do anything you want”?  It’s meant to be encouraging, to motivate you to greater things, to go after your dreams. But most of us don’t believe it, and that’s not surprising because it just isn’t true. In fact, we tend to believe pretty much the opposite, that there is very little that we can do.

I know I’ll never dance in the Royal Ballet, win Wimbledon or become a doctor,no matter how much I want to – and even if I’d made the decision to do one of those when I was about 8 years old, it’s unlikely that I’ve have succeeded. I’m not saying this to be negative or put down my 8 year old self or any other 8 year olds. It’s simply that I had very little talent in those areas.  However, I do have lots of talents in other areas.

It can be tough – being faced with the expectations of those who say we can do anything and the fear that we are rubbish at everything. The truth lies somewhere in between and probably much closer to the  “you can do anything” version.

The reality is that you can do a lot more than you think you can. And that is exciting, inspiring and wonderful, because you can have a lot of fun working out what that is. And, you don’t have to struggle to succeed at something you don’t enjoy or aren’t particularly good at.

The difficult bit is where we really want to do something, but aren’t quite good enough to make a career out of it. But that can be turned around and used to our advantage.

Let’s look at those impossible dreams, the ones where you don’t have the talent,  had a health problem or disability that excluded you, didn’t start lessons when you were 5 or lacked the funds to train for your ideal career.

Ask yourself why you wanted to do whatever it was. If we take the Wimbledon example, it might be because you love playing tennis, enjoy competition and want to compete at the highest level, admire excellence, want to be famous, want to travel, want to meet celebrities in the sport, want to win big prizes/make a lot of money.

Do the same with your own impossible dream.

Next, take a look at your answers and ask how many other activities or careers would enable you  to achieve at least some of those goals. If you are really creative, you should come up with a few, but let’s take this once step further

If you love playing tennis, the “solution” is fairly simple – keep playing for enjoyment. But it’s not so easy for goals like becoming famous, meeting tennis celebrities or making a lot of money. So think about a related business – tennis coach if you are good enough, setting up a tennis club for local children,selling tennis merchandice or  creating a tennis blog.

If you can’t find anything that is practical in your situation, go a little deeper. Keep asking Why? So why do you want to compete at a high level, why do you want to meet tennis celebrities, why do you want to win big prizes or make a lot of money?

Beneath every wish we have is the desire to feel better. So keep asking why until you get to the feeling behind your goal. Or simply ask yourself, what will I feel if I have achieved that goal?

 You might decide that you’d feel confident, successful, happy, inspired, secure or any other range of emotions. Write them all down and then ask what else could make me feel that way?

You can apply this to work, but also to everyday life. If you can actually start feeling the feelings now, you are likely to find a new goal, one that is achievable. And if you start feeling better, it will be easier to take action towards that goal.

Some ways to feel better – do something you love to do in your spare time like singing, exercise, playing with your kids or grandkids, reading a great book, spending time with good friends, cooking a special meal for family, watching a great film. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, yet so often we don’t allow ourselves to have fun.