Monday, 29 April 2013

Leadership Styles - Which Style Are You?

Part 1 of our #leadership series explores how leadership means different things to different people. At the moment in industry there is a focus away from #management and a shift towards leadership, but what does that actually mean?

I therefore thought I would explore some leadership styles. Below are a range of leadership styles - which style are you? An effective leader does not adopt one rigid style but flexes their style according to the business need.
Leaders Often Flex Their Leadership Style
Picture: pedrosimoes7
Authoritative - “Just Do It....!”

The authoritative leader believes in direct supervision in order to achieve deadlines and deliverables. They engage primarily in one-way downward communication, controlling discussions and dominating communications.

They establish themselves as the expert in the company, a visionary who sees the way forward. They believe in mobilising the team towards a common vision to achieve success. This leadership style is particularly effective in times when a new direction is needed, or for dangerous work, complicated tasks, or urgent short-term projects such as a company crisis.

This style of leadership is not the best fit when the leader is working with a team of experts who know more than they do. Also, since they take full responsibility for team decisions and review the team's outputs authoritative leaders are extremely busy, which can lead to high stress levels.

Authentic – “I Believe.....”
Authentic leaders are more interested in empowering the people they lead to make a difference than they are in power, money or prestige for themselves. They lead with purpose and meaning. They are credible and gain trust and respect, building collaborative relationships. Others follow them because they know where they stand.

Authentic leadership is in essence ethical leadership and it is claimed that it can lead to enhanced trust, job satisfaction and performance.

A drawback to authentic leadership is that personal values may conflict with company goals. This collaborative style may also slow down decision making.

Democratic – “What Do You Think?”

This style of leadership believes in sharing decision making with the group and encourages discussion, debate and sharing of ideas. A democratic leadership style invites the participation and contribution of team members towards the final decision-making process.  That process is run by the leader and they have a key role in shaping the final decision and resolving any differences. 

This leadership style is one of the most effective and creates higher productivity, contribution and morale. Democratic leadership can lead to better ideas and more creative solutions to problems because group members are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas.
Democratic leadership works best in situations where group members are skilled and eager to share their knowledge.

While democratic leadership is one of the most effective leadership styles, it does have some drawbacks. In situations where roles are unclear, or time is short, democratic leadership can lead to communication failures and missed deadlines.

Hands Off – “You Take Care of the Issue While I.....”

Sometimes also described as the laissez faire style, this leadership style provides little or no direction, allowing for high degrees of autonomy. This type of leader ensures their door is ‘always open’ for consultation and discussion. They place a great deal of trust in team members to both understand and deliver what the whole team is driving towards. 

They provide assistance when requested but this style can sometimes result in a lack of productivity as team members may mistake or misunderstand what they are working towards, which can result in under performance.

Transactional – “Telling”

This style is used mainly by managers, as it can be time saving. Transactional leaders focus on motivating through a system of rewards and punishment. Management by exception allows the leader to maintain the status quo, intervening when acceptable performance levels are not met, initiating corrective action.

Treating work as a transaction ensures everyone knows where they stand. These type of leaders establish measurable criteria for evaluating tasks, reducing the emotion in decision making. Transactional leadership is therefore effective when there is clarity on what goals and objectives need to be accomplished and where there is little room for creativity and innovation.

The downside of this style of leadership is that it can be very impersonal, as it focuses on the completion of tasks and not on people.

Transformational – “Selling”

Transformational leaders use their strength of personality, their inspirational qualities and their persona to achieve significant changes in the behaviour of others, ensuring attainment of their vision or goals. They are charismatic and take risks, motivating others by setting a personal example.

Their influence is measured by the trust, admiration, loyalty and respect they inspire. This is reflected by their team working harder than originally expected because this leader has transformed and motivated them, through an inspiring mission and vision, giving them an identity.

Transformational leaders achieve the goals by inspiring and motivating followers and encouraging their initiative. Transformational leaders are able to create vision. They are able to establish a shared vision and sense of purpose among team members.

Coaching – “Try This”

The coaching leadership style focuses on developing others, with a view to enhancing their long term performance.  It creates a positive environment where both strengths and weaknesses are identified in order to improve overall effectiveness. A coaching leader recognises personal goals and career aspirations within their teams.

They create a positive workplace environment with people knowing exactly what's expected of them, which they are able to relate back to the overall strategy of the company.

Coaching leaders are very effective in settings where performance or results need improvement.  The coaching leadership style is most effective when followers are more responsible, experienced, and motivated.

This coaching style is not effective when the culture does not support change or learning, or if the leader lacks expertise. The approach can also be time consuming.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

CV & Interview Hints & Tips Video

A #CV and #interview hints and tips video which supplements our posts on #CV writing and CV/Interview hints and tips. We hope you find this useful.

One Stop Career Shop also offers a free, no obligation, CV review service.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

CV Writing Hints & Tips In A Nutshell

#CV tips in a nutshell. I have been interviewing for a graduate programme last week and again this week. This led me to thinking about both CV writing and interviewing hints & tips. 

In this post we are going to explore CV writing hints & tips in a nutshell. More on interview hints & tips in later posts.  

CV Writing Hints & Tips In A Nutshell
CV writing tips - the absolute basics:
  • Keep it brief - no more than 2 pages, 3 at an absolute push. The only exception are executive level CVs.
  • If you are using a chronological format make sure you list your most recent job first, going back in time.
  • Use the correct grammar and spell check. A good tip is to get someone to proof read the CV for you. Under no circumstances include any text speak such as lol or :)
  • Watch the layout - don't make it too detailed, don't squash the content in an attempt to fit it on 2 pages. You may need to prioritise the content or group/discard older employment history
  • Font size - no smaller than 10, ideally 11 or 12. Use a professional font such as Arial or Times New Roman rather than some of the more artistic fonts.
  • Don't lie - you will only be found out. I loved this post "Is Your CV A Work of Fiction" from@AfterRedundancy, which made me smile.
  • Make sure the CV is relevant to the role you are applying for. Look at the job description and the skills the employer is seeking and make sure you have these skills reflected in your CV.
  • If you are applying for similar type roles it is fine to have a generic CV which you tweak slightly for each role. If you are applying for different types of roles or to different industry sectors then you will need to submit a different CV each time. All of this takes a lot of time and effort but it is the only way to gain invites to interview. Without this step your CV will not pass the screening stage.
  • Consider how you use key words in your CV so that it can be screened easily or uploaded onto job sites.
  • If you have employment gaps, include achievements or any voluntary work. Be prepared to discuss what you were doing during any employment breaks (tip: try and focus on any new skills acquired).
  • Make sure you know your CV inside out prior to interview - you are only going to be asked questions on it! Make sure you have pre-prepared examples ready to back up your skills.
Good luck with the CV writing.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Five Top Tips For Confident Presentations With Impact

Do you need to deliver a #presentation? Or does the #application process call for a presentation? Does the thought of this terrify you?

Don't worry with the help of some hints and tips, plus a bit of preparation and some practice, you can deliver professional confident presentations with impact! 

Hints & tips to deliver presentations with impact!
Photo Credit: Victor1558
To help those of you that are looking for some hints and tips on delivering presentations we have put together this article How to Deliver A Great Presentation - Five Top Tips For A Professional Confident Presentation

One Stop Career Shop offers presentation skills coaching, with a dedicated presentation skills coach. We also offer a professional CV writing and career management service.

Monday, 22 April 2013

We Are Featured In The Maidenhead Advertiser Today

I am very proud that my #CV and #career management consultancy is featured in the Maidenhead Advertiser today. More about One Stop Career Shop and owner Beverley Tibbles can be found in the Business Supplement on page 47. 


Thank you to the Maidenhead Advertiser for featuring the work of the One Stop Career Shop.

Should You Pay Someone To Professionally Write Your CV?

At the One Stop Career Shop we believe in inspiring others to be self sufficient. Obviously we are a professional #CV writing and career management agency but we also believe in providing hints and tips to help those who want to write their own CV.

Is CV Writing Easy? DIY or Redecoration?

We have written this article "Should You Pay Someone To Professionally Write Your CV?"  to help you make an informed choice.

We will be posting some #CV tips later this week to assist those of you who want to write your own CV.

Is It Time To Dust Off Your CV?

Have you had the same #CV for ages?  
Are you thinking about a #job move?
Not sure where to start with #CV writing?
Need someone to review your CV for you?
Now could be the time to dust off your CV ready for a spot of job hunting. At the One Stop Career Shop we offer a free, no obligation, CV check with feedback report.

Click here to contact us if you would like to arrange a free CV review.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Twitter Another Job Hunting Tool

On the social media and job hunting theme Twitter can also be a great job hunting tool. Thanks to @BrazenCareerist via @Slough_JCP for this Twitter article. We are new to Twitter (yes I know that's way behind everyone else!) but we love it!

One Stop Career Shop offers career mentoring services to clients, whom we often help with job searches. We have found Twitter to be a valuable job hunting and placement tool.   

Photo Credit: Coletivo Mambembe

Using LinkedIn For Job Hunting

We have been exploring recently how social media can help with job hunting and career management. We have covered Facebook and Pinterest now time for LinkedIn. I liked this post from @AfterRedundancy on how Twitter can be a great tool.
Photo credit: Coletivo Mambembe

Graduate Programme Versus Apprenticeship - which is best?

 Which is better a graduate programme or an appprenticeship? I am often asked this question. Only yesterday I was recruiting for a blue-chip company graduate programme. This company is also recruiting for its apprenticeship programme at the same time.

Bottom line is that for big employers both forms of recruitment offer the much needed injection of talent into the organisation. Such intakes are required to create flow within the organisation, unlocking gridlock, enabling their more experienced staff to progress in the organisation. In a nutshell these roles create flow, enabling career progression to take place.

Is a graduate programme for you?

An apprenticeship could be a great option
Photo credit: ralph and jenny                                                    Photo credit:jovike

What is a graduate programme?
  •  you go to university and study for a degree, which provides a great start to a professional career.
  • during this time you are not earning any income and may incur university fees and debt.
  • typically graduate programmes offer higher starting salaries.
  • on graduation you join an employer who offers a structured learning and development programme, often with clear pay progression points.  
  • is a great career site for graduates. However you only need to google "graduate recruitment" to see the vast array of blue-chip (FTSE 100) companies offering graduate programmes.

What is an apprenticeship?
  • for lots of different reasons university may not be for everyone.
  • apprentices gain work experience on the job, working towards a recognised qualification.
  • a good apprenticeship programme should also offer a structured learning and development programme, often with clear pay progression points.  
  • apprenticeships are now available in a wide range of careers as can be seen on . Blue-chip (FTSE 100) companies also offer some great schemes.
So what does this mean for the individual? Well in times of high student loans and university fees an apprenticeship can be a great option of ultimately reaching the same place or career goal. Sure graduate programmes have high kudos, but as many graduates will vouch for sometimes, even with a great degree, it can be difficult to get a job on graduation. Its a bit of a chicken and egg situation - employers often want to recruit graduates with some work experience, but they can't get that all important first role without the necessary experience.

Apprenticeships provide a way of gaining vocational on the job training, whilst also earning an income earlier than you would if you studied a degree. Any high quality apprenticeship programme should have a structured learning and development programme in place, which often also includes pay increases upon satisfactory performance against targets. It also provides a way of achieving a recognised qualification, such as HND, without incurring the debt many graduates encounter. 

However some employers are now launching longer degree apprenticeships, enabling  individuals to gain valuable vocational training and experience as well as working towards a degree.

So what about pay? Initially graduate programmes will provide higher earning potential. However don't rule out an apprenticeship on that basis. If the apprenticeship programme is a good one it will have factored in pay increases. So as you are working and earning from day one you may find that over time, say 5 years, the graduate programme and apprenticeship programme could converge in terms of earning power and career progression.

So in effect both could provide different solutions to reach the same place. Ultimately it just comes down to personal choice, as not all options will suit everyone.   

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Is Your Career On The Go Slow? Why Not Consider Coaching or Mentoring

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

Coaching or mentoring is not just about career progression with a view to getting a new job or promotion - although clearly it can prove beneficial for that purpose. They are also valuable tools for personal development, ensuring you are not overtaken by your peers. The two processes enable individuals to enhance and grow their skills, ensuring they remain current. It can be an equally valuable exercise for both mentor and mentee.

However often people use the terms coaching and mentoring interchangeably as if they are the same things. They are not! They are in fact 2 different tools. So what is the difference between them?

What Is Coaching?

  • The coaching relationship is generally short term in duration.
  • It is aimed at enhancing individual performance and growing skills.
  • It provides a more immediate approach, with regular meetings focused on a specific targets or area(s) of development.
  • Coaching provides feedback on both strengths and development areas.
 e.g. you start a new job and you are unsure how to operate a specific computer system or unsure how to apply company processes. You may shadow another colleague who will work with you to support and enhance your learning. Within 2 months you gain a full understanding of the system and processes and so the specific coaching relationship ends.
So What Is Mentoring?
  • Mentoring is more of an ongoing relationship which can last a long time.
  • It is a trusted relationship focusing on career development.
  • Meetings are more informal and less structured and often only happen when there is a specific need.
  •  The mentor is usually more senior (but not always) and passes on their experience.
  • The agenda is set by the mentee depending on the specific career support they feel they need. 
e.g. your career aspiration is to move to a new role but you know it involves a lot of influencing and stakeholder management. You have strong competencies but you recognise that stakeholder management is a development area for you. You therefore proactively identify a colleague who has excellent stakeholder management skills and you meet informally over coffee for a year. They provide you with valuable support. It is a mutual exchange, but you drive the meetings by identifying scenarios you want to discuss. 

I also liked these 2 a articles on mentoring Mentoring a 2 Way Street from @HandleRecruit and Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help As You Climb The Career Ladder from @GuardianCareers

Don't put your career on the go slow, consider how coaching or mentoring could help you and just go for it! Good luck.

What Is The Right Job For You?

We are exploring career strategy and career management at the moment but before you can do that that you really need to think about your career goals and direction. This is a topic we will be exploring shortly, as it is the first step in defining your personal career strategy.  

Once you have done that you will be able to define what is the right job for you I liked this article on Finding the Right Jobs from @AfterRedundancy, which includes some good advice.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

CV Writing and Career Management from the One Stop Career Shop

Do you need a CV refreshed or a bespoke CV professionally written? 
Are you looking for a new job? 
Do you need some career coaching? 
Or perhaps some presentation and interview skills coaching? 

One Stop Career Shop can help with all your career management needs.

How To Resign In Style!

How to resign by cake
Photo credit: FUNKYAH

# resignation. My absolute favourite post today is this article from @Guardian, featuring a resignation in style - by cake! My only comment would be you need to be a star baker, have lots of time and a very steady hand.

Facebook - recruitment friend or foe?

Facebook - friend or foe?
Photo Credit: Rosaura Ochoa

#recruitment friend or foe? I also found this today from @AfterRedundancy which is a good fit with our earlier posts on the use of social media in job searching "10 Ways to get Fired For Facebook"

Dressing for Interview Success

More on dressing for career success
Photo Credit: mkh marketing

Further to our article on using Pinterest for career management, and our Pinterest post on dressing for interview I found this article Dressing for Success . Credit to Slough Job Centre for the tweet that brought it to our attention and to Office Angels for the original content

Basic Career Advice to Junior School Children

Starting young, from little seedlings.......

Grow early work life skills in junior school
Photo credit: Katerha

As part of our business values the One Stop Career Shop works with local schools to help coach work-life skills. Generally this has been at secondary school level. However recently I observed CV writing at an earlier age.

As a fun game junior school children were asked to "bid" on simple classroom tasks they wanted to undertake, such as clearing away. They all prepared a very brief CV stating why they felt they should be awarded the task they had chosen. I thought this was a really innovative way of teaching junior school children the grass roots basics of career management. It put it into a meaningful context for them and more importantly gave them a personal goal to aspire to.

I then spoke to a subset of the children at a very high level about CV writing and what career management meant.  This is what they wrote, which made me smile:) I was very impressed with their writing, interest and level of understanding, so much I have decided to share their thoughts on our blog.

" In this day and age it is so hard to get employed so your curriculum vitae (they wrote this in full not CV!) has to be better than  the rest. You need to make yours original, but do not put too much information in your CV otherwise employers will get bored and put your CV aside. 

If you  find it hard to write CVs no worries follow the link to One Stop Career Shop  - (who needs SEO or a PR guru when you have a captive audience of ten year olds!). The most important part of finding a job is to get the right job for your career history, so that in your interview employers are impressed by your skills.

Employers are looking for responsible, organised, skillful workers who will contribute to their business.

If you are looking for a first time job to start your career history first you have to find what job you want. Next you need to find out if you want to work full time or part time and what salary you are aiming for.

We hope this article has helped you reach your career potential
Brilliant - spot on! I think they have captured what I told them in their own unique way.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Using Social Media As A Career Tool

Social media can be a great career management tool - but exercise caution!
Photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa

Social media is a valuable tool for any career management strategy. If used wisely it can be used to:
  • showcase your work and achievements
  • reflect your personal style
  • research a prospective employer and their brand
  • build your personal network
  • keep in touch with valuable contacts

However always remember that social media is a public forum. That might sound obvious but, depending on your privacy settings, whatever you post (both positive and negative) is available for public scrutiny. That means that prospective employers can also research you.

As a recruiter I can vouch for the fact that social media profiles are often reviewed in the recruitment process. Even though you are not bad mouthing anybody - are you portraying the image you want to show prospective employers? I guess its a question of checking out the privacy settings or consider the pics you post after a Saturday night out!  

What personal brand do you want to display?

Enough of all back to the positives of social media

In this post we are going to focus on Pinterest. 
Pinterest can be a great fun career management tool

I loved this article by Alison Doyle at which sums up how Pinterest can be used effectively in managing your career. As a visual person I love Pinterest and so have created some boards which you might find helpful:
 We will consider other forms of social media in subsequent posts.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Lifelong Career Management

I liked this article from Careerealism It dovetails nicely with our earlier posts on developing a personal career management strategy; and encouraging career choices and talent management at an early age in schools.  

What I particularly liked is the reference to career management being a life-long exercise. We will be exploring taking ownership for your own career management in later posts

Talent Management is critical in schools

Encouraging & nurturing talent in schools is essential. Picture: Sean MacEntee

There seems to be a lot in the press at the moment about the lack of women in executive positions. Following on from articles yesterday, and our earlier blog posts, I have spotted this article in The Telegraph today (13th April 2013)

I can see the article has attracted a lot of comments already. Once again I would state quotas don't work and are divisive - promotion should be on talent. However, that said we should be growing talent at an early age in school - which unfortunately is not always the case.

I was educated in the state system and was fortunate to go to a good all-girls school. I was an academic pupil and had decided I was interested in becoming an accountant. To this day I remember meeting with the then deputy head to discuss career advice and my options. I told her about my aspirations. 

Career advice? She said to me "accountancy is a very difficult profession and most people fail so I would advise you to do something else"   

How demotivational was that?  Thankfully I was, and still am, a confident and strong-willed person. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking back her comments only served to make me even more determined!

I am pleased to say I qualified as a CIMA accountant in 1995!

My worry is that this mentality may still exist. We should be encouraging young people, both male and female, to follow their dreams and tell them that anything is possible with hard work.  That is why at the One Stop Career Shop one of our core business values is Demonstrate Integrity. We believe in positively contributing to growing talent, as they are the future. We work actively with local schools to help young people develop work life skills.