Out of the box

Lola’s Top Tips – Getting out of the box and finding that first job!

Following Tom’s last blog on employability skills for first year students at the University of Essex, there’s been a lot of talk in my house recently about one of my younger masters getting a job. Having graduated in the summer with a decent degree he was hopeful that a perfect job, or at least an internship would present itself in his inbox, so that he could go out and suitably impress potential employers with his newly acquired product design skills. Alas, as we inch closer to the end of the year it seems less likely that this is going to be his reality.

As I sit and listen to all the family banter from my basket, I do think I could teach him a few tricks (after all he’s not an old dog!) about getting ahead of the game here; or at least to start “getting outside of the box” when it comes to getting a job. So…. here are a few more musings from “inside my box” – or whatever I happen to be in at the time ….

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Maybe The Only Way Is…

Yes, that’s right, Essex, or more specifically the University of Essex where Change Gear team member Tom Barwood presented to First year students on the need to get engaged in employability from day one. Too often students leave it until their final year to focus on what lies beyond university and opportunities to gain valuable work experience and skills are overlooked. In today’s graduate world of work it is not enough to keep up with your competitors, but to stay ahead and stand out.

In this blog, Tom shares his experience of delivering the message – “It’s never too early, but it can be too late to focus on employability!”

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À La Rentrée!

At this time of year in France it is impossible to ignore the event which is known as “La Rentrée”.  Supermarket shelves overflow with pens, pencils, folders, exercise books and other important stationery. Here in the UK we are bombarded by Back To School merchandising but this doesn’t seem to capture the change in the rhythm of life which is so aptly expressed by the term “La Rentrée”.

“La Rentrée” signifies a shift from Summer and days spent at the beach or a rural retreat to the resumption of the more scheduled days of school and work. September is not just time for children to restart their studies, but also for politicians to be recalled to Parliament and workers to return to their desks and offices; all returning with renewed motivation and a general upsurge of energy.

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Beating the post-holiday blues

There’s nothing like 2 weeks relaxing in the Caribbean sunshine to re-charge the batteries and put a smile on your face.  Welcome back to reality Carrie… trying to get motivated on a very wet Bank Holiday Monday was proving a challenge for me and might be for you too.

Here are some ideas that might help us to get motivated and overcome the post-holiday blues:

Tackle the over-flowing email

Quickly sort through all those hundreds of emails that have built up – just click and drag them into three boxes – URGENT, FOR TOMORROW and LATER.  Hopefully you’ve now only got about 20 to action and won’t feel so overwhelmed.  Read More

Step away from the blackberry

What’s the first thing that comes into your head when you think of holidays? Sunshine, beaches, a cool glass of wine?

Emails? Probably not.

But despite this 59% of people say they check emails or take work calls while on holiday – and I suspect the actual figures are even higher. Gone are the days of switching on your out of office on the Friday evening and not checking in until you’re back two weeks later.

And this continual availability is not only damaging our health, but also our relationships with those around us.

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