Category: CC – 00 Career Change

3D Juggling 352: Magic Seats

Claire writes: ‘When we bought our car, all I knew was that it would be a supermini with room for 4 people and good fuel consumption. Being available in red was desirable but not essential!  If that had been the final criteria, it would have been very difficult to chose between the makes we looked at – Citroen, Peugeot, Skoda, Renault etc.  What allowed us to make an informed choice was that each garage was able to clearly communicate what they felt the added value was in their car. And we did a test drive. So we had to choose between interiors, boot space and leg room.  On the way to buy the Toyota Yaris which fulfilled all the criteria except boot space, we stopped off at the Honda garage because it was raining.  It was the leg room and the magic seats which made us buy the Honda.  You can fold the back seats up or down.  We didn’t know we needed that, but realised it would mean we could fit a bike in the back… or a large plant… or a big box of training materials.

When employers advertise for posts, they advertise the generic basics which are essential for the job.  When we apply, we need to be really clear how we fit that and also what added value we bring so that they can decide who is the best fit for the job.  That means that you need to be crystal clear what you bring before you even fill out the application.  If you only answer the questions you are asked, there may be a significant piece of information which you forget to include.  Until you are clear what you bring, the potential employer will not be able to find it out from you – however hard they try. Especially if you are changing sectors or applying for a different type of role. That’s why we spend a considerable amount of time with individuals and groups facing job changes simply asking: So what did you do? If you have a job change coming up, do you know all the generic skills you bring?  And what evidence you have for them? It’s worth investing time to find that out BEFORE you start approaching employers.

And if you don’t know what you’re thinking unless you speak, don’t waste time siting staring at a blank computer screen or white paper… enlist a listening partner – a friend, colleague or a coach.

© 2007 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to

Useful data

If you’re wondering what jobs pay how much, this data from The Guardian on salaries may come in useful


3D Juggling 489: Jam

Claire writes: “I was having Greek Salad for lunch during one of our courses when a delegate asked me: So is your work thick jam or thin jam?

We began to talk and it helped me to really understand that our purpose is to meet people for a short period of time and then for them to begin to engage differently with their work or career.  Thin jam.

I’m not keen on reusing questions but it has proved to be useful in many different contexts.  I recently asked a Board of Trustees the jam question about their operational work.  It’s a great career change question when people are considering whether they wish to have a deep impact with a small group of people or a wider impact with a larger group.  And if your organisation is restructuring it’s a great question to reclarify your purpose within the organisation.

So what’s your purpose: Thick jam or thin jam?”

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to

3D Juggling 551: What vocation looks like

Claire writes: ‘There’s a great line in Shirley Valentine where she says: “Why do we get all this life if we never use it?”

Every week we talk to people who are trying to find a job where they can feel fulfilled.  You can find all our ideas on the website.  Because when people find a place where what they are good at combines with what they love and what an organisation will pay for, you can see it in their eyes.  That’s what Auden describes in Horae Canonicae

You need not see what someone is doing

to know if it is his vocation,

you have only to watch his eyes:

a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon

making a primary incision,

a clerk completing a bill of lading,

wear the same rapt expression, forgetting

themselves in a function.

How beautiful it is,

that eye-on-the-object look

Have you found yours? Think about it…”
© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to

3D Juggling 545: The Banks of the Yangtze

Claire writes: “I would be a millionaire if I was paid £1 for every time I have used this Chinese proverb in training. I learned it as a child:

The Banks of the Yangtze give it depth, drive and direction

  • Unless we make a clear agreement about the boundaries of a conversation, it may lack depth, drive and direction
  • Unless we are clear what a meeting is for, it may lack depth, drive and direction
  • Maybe we can do anything, but unless we have depth, drive and direction, we may not get there!

Think about it…”

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to

3D Juggling 536: The Cake Shop

We are having more career makeover conversations than usual. And there really is hope in uncertain times:

“Thanks for the conversation. It was incredibly helpful – and I’m still processing the discussion. The thing I need to hang on to more than anything else, though, is that I got out of bed on Tuesday morning with a smile on my face and a sense of liberation and possibility”    

Lynn writes: “I was recently working with a nursing team whose services were being decommissioned.  It was a hard time for them; not only were they worried about how to find a new job but they were also grieving for the loss of a service they had a right to be proud of.

As we looked at their CVs and scanned for new opportunities they continuously looked for nursing roles and were stuck as what they wanted to do was what they had to leave behind.  The breakthrough came for one participant when asked “If you could do anything – what would you do?”  Her instant reply:  “I’d open a cake shop”. Immediately she was able to see possibilities of using her skills and passion and began exploring who to talk to, where she would have opportunities to sell and how she could make this financially viable by doing some part time agency work whilst she built the other business.

I told this story at the last career makeover day, and one of the delegates got really clear on what she had to do: “I need to find what is my cake shop?”

What’s yours? Think about it…”

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to

3D Juggling 532: What They Don’t Tell You

Claire writes: ‘It must be the season for job applications because we have been doing plenty of interview coaching lately. You may have seen the article in last week’s Church Times about just one of the courses we ran this month.

By the time you get to interview, all the candidates will meet the person profile, more or less.  The job of the application form/ CV is to give enough evidence of how you meet the job spec, why you want to work for them and why they want to appoint you – so that you get on the short list.  I am looking over a form this morning which gives great data about ‘why I would like to do a job like that in any organisation’ but fails to address the question – why I want THIS job with YOU.

What the interviewers want to know on the day is whether their hunch that you fit the profile is correct and then what else you bring? What will you bring to the role that the other candidates don’t?  You need to know your added value and to be able to clearly communicate it – even if – or especially when – you are an internal candidate.  What’s your added value? Think about it…’

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to

Top Interview Tips

1 Give evidence
2 Give evidence
3 Give evidence

Eg This is how I do that. Here is an example and this was the outcome…

Evidence means there is no spin.  And it can be easier to talk about something that has happened than simply to talk about yourself.  Being interviewed well has no spin.  But it means that the interviewers will know why you are the right person to appoint.  Or why not!

You only get one chance at an interview.  Talk to us about interview coaching if you would value some good preparation.

3D Juggling 528: Rocket Science

Claire writes: “It’s when someone gets slightly irritated when describing their skills and says ‘Of course I do that – doesn’t everyone?’ that we know we are getting to the heart of what’s unique about them. Because not everyone does things like you do – and probably your most important skills are the ones that you don’t think are rocket science.

I can remember speaking at a conference about career change and finding your purpose.  Having invited all the delegates to talk with their neighbour to try and extract their core skills, a man in the front row stood up.  He told me that he had taken early retirement at 50, had a great CV and wouldn’t be doing the exercise.  I offered to look at his CV instead.  The first page spoke of communication skills.  ‘Imagine that a lady from customer services in a supermarket is sat next to you.  She also has communication skills’, I said. ‘What are different about yours?’

You could tell that he understood things in a different way when he smiled and replied: ‘I’m a trained hostage negotiator. I get it!’ Then he rewrote his CV!!

Clarity about skills is important when you are looking for a different kind of job and are unclear what that might be.  It’s also important when you are being interviewed and all the candidates fit the person profile.  The job is likely to be appointed on that extra piece of uniqueness. And you need to be able to describe it.

What is different about your skills? Think about it…”

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to

3D Juggling 524: Who do you know who?

Claire writes: ‘Internships have hit the headlines in the last couple of weeks. Is it acceptable to use personal contacts to find unpaid work placements? That’s for you to decide…

Whatever you think, a large amount of movement in the jobs market comes from networking and making connections through people who are known to you.  That’s why LinkedIn is so successful.  Our office neighbour is a recruitment consultant with jobs on his books.  He fills them by making connections.

Whether you’re at the beginning of your career or changing jobs, one of the most powerful questions you can ask is: ‘Who do you know who I need to be talking to about…?’  It elicits a very different response from the closed question asked in the style of ‘Have you got a job?’

Elite?  We asked a ‘Who do you know who…?’ question on Twitter the other day and got a great response from someone we had never met which was both useful information and a great lead for potential work. In 1996, Microsoft did some research which indicated that it is true that people are connected by less than 6.6 degrees of separation. Whatever their social status.

Who do you know who would benefit from having a ‘Who do you know who…’conversation?  Think about it… You may like you to forward this to them.

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to

3D Juggling 522: No Place at Uni?

Jane writes: “Simon Dolan is worth £70m.  He was a bright child, but couldn’t see the point of most of the subjects he had to study and was asked to leave school at 15.  He says that there’s a big lie going round, the one that says you stand a better chance of getting a good job if you have a degree.  Of course there are some professions that absolutely require years at university, but there are many that do not, and many ways to gain professional qualifications and credibility whilst working.

Our experience of working with people who don’t know what they want to do next fits well with some of Simon’s tips:

1.    Think niche (for Simon doing VAT returns wasn’t niche, doing it just for IT contractors was)
2.    Talk to interesting people who are doing interesting stuff
3.    Don’t spend weeks on a detailed business plan
4.    Don’t borrow lots of money
5.    If you’re the parent of a young person with an idea for a business – get behind it

Think about it…”

We work with young people seeking their way in life, people who have got ‘stuck’ in roles or organisations that just don’t suit them anymore, people who find themselves without work, and others who just don’t know what they want to do.  All our ideas are available here or come to one of our workshops.

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to