Tag: career change

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: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

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: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

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: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

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: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

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: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to

3D Juggling 516: Ambition – Good or Bad?

Claire writes: I find it interesting that what you say in a moment without attachment – and soon forget – can be more meaningful to the receiver than an influencing campaign! Last week’s lunch companion quotes me as saying: “Ambition is neutral. It’s what you do with it that matters.”

Often people see ambition as pushy and overbearing.  Equally a lack of ambition can lead to inertia. It doesn’t have to be about money or fame.  In fact research by William Damon, Professor of Human Development at Stamford University suggests that money and fame don’t in the end satisfy people. Purpose comes from doing something meaningful to the self and consequential to the world beyond the self.  It needs to make a difference.  What’s interesting about his research is that he says that Science and religion say the same thing.

Ambition is neutral. It’s what you do with it that matters.  Think about it…

(c) 3D Coaching Ltd

3D Juggling 505: David’s Trees

David has been a loyal reader of 3D Juggling for many years.  He writes: “Fourteen years ago we moved into a house with a dozen attractive small bushes outside the front door. Each year they were pruned, but each year they grew to the extent that for the last 3 years we have said what an eyesore they are; but we did nothing about them.

This morning the sun shone and we took a saw to the worst of them, drastically pruned the rest and so opened up the vista so that we could again see the horses in the adjacent field and the cones on the cedar tree.

As I laboured I reflected on how many things there might be in my life which had grown to a point where they were taken for granted without me having the courage to do anything about them. With courage to act, time can be created for new visions and new activities that could enrich our lives.

Are there any bushes in your life which could be pruned or cut down to make your life better?”

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

3D Juggling 496: Inspired to what?

Claire writes: “I ran a workshop last week for an organisation who have had to make some of their roles redundant. We were exploring how to apply for a completely different kind of job.

Some of the feedback was that it was inspiring.

I like being inspired. It excites me. It’s interesting. It challenges. Sometimes it makes me feel good.  And it’s only a feeling unless it leads me to take action. Otherwise it will fade and disappear.

So next time you feel inspired ask yourself: What am I going to do now? And do it!!”

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

3D Juggling 485: Change the question

Jane writes: “What are the most useful questions that you can ask when interviewing somebody for a role in your organisation?  Recruitment interviewing – for paid staff or volunteers – is a huge responsibility. The chances are that a fair chunk of money has been invested in the recruitment process, including this day of interviewing, and you’re under pressure to select the right person.

We ran a Career Makeover Masterclass a few weeks ago and were thinking about what it was like to be the job applicant at an interview. Someone commented that years ago she found that interviewers would ask hypothetical questions. Questions that started with ‘What would you do if …?’ and ‘How would you …?’ Now, she said, they were more likely to ask her to talk about things she had actually done rather than how she might do them. This makes lots of sense.

What do you really need to find out when you’re interviewing somebody for a role in your organisation? Is it about what they would like you to think they would do, or what they can do? Your organisation may provide you with extensive guidelines around recruitment, and there is a risk that you may end up asking each candidate the same carefully prepared questions.

Instead of focusing on the questions, try focusing on the competencies that you need the role holder to demonstrate. Then ask each candidate questions that provide them with an invitation to tell you about situations they have been in where they would have needed to demonstrate these competencies.  Then ask them what they did. For example, if you need them to be able to communicate confidently and effectively with a wide range of stakeholders, ask them to give you an example of when they have had to do this. Then be prepared to ask follow-up questions, such as ‘What resistance did you meet?’, ‘How did you deal with that?’ and ‘What happened?’

By asking a candidate to talk about something that they’ve actually done you begin to gather evidence about their competence, how they apply their skills and knowledge. This also gives you clues about their behaviour, how they work with others and the impact this has. If they are unaware about the impact of their behaviour this is also likely to be apparent. Hearing about one significant thing a candidate has done can provide you with lots of evidence.  You may only need to have a few ‘prepared’ questions to get them started, allowing yourself time to ask follow-up questions that help the candidate to tell you what you really need to know.

The candidate should do most of the talking at an interview; your role is to ask a few incisive questions to ensure that what they say is relevant and useful.

What do you really need to find out? How could you change your questions?”

Love this? If you need some help in your organisation to change your approach to recruitment interviewing, come out for a cup of coffee with us to talk about how we can help you.  We’ll pay!

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

3D Juggling 479: Apocalypse, Milk and Honey

Su writes: I did some career coaching with a friend recently. She was exceptionally honest with me and described what the jobs market was like in the banking sector. What she described was a post-apocalyptic landscape: a deserted, bleak and hostile environment. It was scary and tough, not for the faint-hearted. It was certainly not a place I would like to have spent time looking for a job. She described it absolutely, as it was to her. I worked with her, questioning her, finding out more but essentially that was it. A land of no hope.

That was her reality.

I decided we might take a different approach. We left the land of no hope and instead we did a job search. We looked for the jobs that were there – within minutes we had found several possibilities that she had the skills to do and more or less fitted her expectations. This was a very different landscape to the one we had been discussing. There were suitable vacancies, there were interesting new avenues to ponder, there were exciting potentials. To be honest, it was not a land of milk and honey, with endless opportunities to mull over and choose from. But it was different to the reality which had been described to me.

She had done job searches before: but she was doing them from her end-of-the world land. She had seen the jobs we found in our search but discounted them immediately. She had not thought about the potential that they offered: only that they wouldn’t work for her. She looked at the jobs market through post-apocalyptic eyes and saw only what she expected to see.

It is easy to build up a reality and continuously find fuel to stoke that version of events. It could be in terms of looking for a job, or tackling an issue in the workplace, or dealing with someone we find difficult. Our lands of no hope can almost become comfortable places to inhabit, and finding there is an alternative may initially be alarming.

So how to break out of that land? We need objective evidence, a mind that is open to the possibilities, and often a critical friend to walk with us. Do you?”

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