Sunday, 23 February 2014

Unsocial media




Yesterday, I met a good friend for lunch. We hadn't seen each since just before Christmas so had plenty to catch up on. How we had spent our time, the people we had seen, the presents we'd given and received. Weather, family, books read, films seen, work, relationships, good times and bad times: it was all there. We devoured our lunches, satisfied with both our food and conversations. It was then we became aware of the people around us. Couples, families, groups of friends. And it would appear, many had invited their phones too. Shamefully I looked down at mine. I hadn't used it but it was still there, like the extra guest. I wasn't expecting a call, text or email.

As I drove home, I thought about the phones on the tables: the plus ones and how they were part of so many gatherings. And I wondered if I could go without my phone and just be in the moment. To spend time with a friend without a sneaky peek at Facebook to see who else was about and what they were doing. To just be.

So I'm having a little break from Facebook. It's a start. Will I miss out? Or will I gain? I'll let you know. But don't expect to see any more status updates. Because I'll be just fine. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Fireworks and explosive CVs



Whether you celebrate bonfire night or Diwali, you cannot help but notice that it's firework season. Dark nights, a chill in the air, fireworks appear to be our last final attempt at brightening the sky, ready for our long winter. I like to watch fireworks as much as the next person, but I'm equally fascinated by the reaction of the people below. Whether it's squeals of delight, "oohs and aahs", or the covering up of the ears, we all respond in our way to pyrotechnics.

Your CV is a bit like a firework. In a very short space of time, you are trying to grab the attention of the spectator and make them notice you. Hopefully the response will be cries of delight and they will be thrilled by the spectacle. You really don't want them to cover their eyes and dread the next one.

How do you create impact? Firstly it's about presentation. It needs to look good. That means that your CV should be clear, concise and complete. You want the reader to remain focused. By working out what the reader wants, you can make sure that you structure it in a way to help them see your great skills, achievements and experiences. You've got a small space of time (on average about 20-30 seconds) so cut the waffle and bullet point the key messages. 

But style without substance is like a flash of light:blink and it's gone. You need to hold the reader/spectator by ensuring that there's something there of interest. Look at what they are expecting and make sure you"sell" it to them. It doesn't have to brag or show off; it just needs to be honest and positive. You want a positive response that you've done well and that they are interested enough to want more. 

Not sure how to make your CV sparkle? Why not visit my book? I've created a number of different CVs and show how to make it shine. Go light up the sky and let the world see you've got something great to offer. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

It's time...



It has been a long time coming but the What Rocks Your World ebook is finally available!

It is available for every eReader you can think of and probably a few obscure devices you have never even heard of.

Check it out online – links are on the home page of the website. You can even download a sample to give you an idea of what it's all about.

If you don’t have an eReader you can still read the book on your mobile or on a computer with the free Kindle app.

It’s time to discover your unique talent and find out what really rocks your world.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Taking the time



Inspired by the TV programmes on hoarding I decided to de-clutter and face the boxes that have been carted around from all the places I've ever lived in. The time eventually came when I decided to open up the boxes that have travelled from home to home.

Whilst my old bank statements and receipts made an acquaintance with the shredder I discovered some real treasures. Letters written from my beloved Grandad; his wise words on everything from surviving the trials and tribulations of homework through to treating everyone as you would like to be treated yourself. 

Weather reports, updates on how his garden was blooming and family news. It was all there. Timeless advice and wisdom in his own flowing handwriting. A time before texting and emails. Time taken to select paper, pen and a line to compose. Maybe with a coffee and a digestive. A walk down the lane to the post box. And then the wait, for a scrawly reply from his delighted granddaughter.

If my Grandad had been alive today, I have no idea as to what he would have thought to using a tablet or phone to send a message or book a restaurant. But what I do know is that he would still find time for me - to listen to my news, go for a walk and reflect on life. He could lose hours to a good book, or a puzzle or a game of chess. But people really mattered and he would always find time to enquire how people were and listen to their news.

As we obsess over Twitter and Facebook updates and being kept in the loop, plan our days, weeks and even years ahead, I'm reminded that taking time to be still, to think and just be is crucial.

Writing What Rocks Your World has been a real journey of discovery for me. I've taken time to recall the many young people who've inspired me and encouraged me to keep on writing this book for them. I'd like to think my Grandad would be proud of me, although he's probably ask me to slow down a bit in combining this book with my full time job. So, this book is dedicated to him. He helped me to find out what rocked my world. I hope my book does that for you too.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Legacy


A news story caught my attention today about Claire Squires, the marathon runner, who tragically died, just moments before the finishing line. Her life and the story of her running to raise money for the Samaritans inspired and touched so many people that over £400,000 have been donated in her memory.

When it may appear as the economy and society is going to the dogs, we can all be touched by the story of a woman who put others first. Claire’s friends talk of how she lived life to the full; put others first and had a real thirst for life in its fullness. What a legacy.

So, if someone we loved died tomorrow, what would we say and I suspect, regret that we hadn’t said today? Say it now. Life is too precious and too short. Live it now.