National Career Development Month – 7 Ways to Progress Up the Career Ladder

Career Development

Since 1967, the National Career Development Association has promoted November as National Career Development Month. The goal of the month is to improve career development, regardless of what stage in your working life you are at. It’s a time for everyone to focus on their choices and where they see themselves in the future.

Career development is important as it helps individuals identify their skills, values and interests, and analyse their position on the career ladder. It also encourages people to invest time into their development and explore the options available to them. It is never too late for anyone to excel in their career. If you’re a student, make appointments with teachers or guidance counsellors to hear their advice. If you’re already employed, now is a great time to assess if your job is making you truly happy or if there are changes you wish to make. To share his tips on improving your skills, Richard Evans, education expert and careers mentor at The Profs, is on hand.

 

 1) Change your mindset

If you have a goal in mind, it’s not just a pipe dream. It’s normally something that you’ve thought about long and hard, and you know that it’s possible to achieve. But sometimes, that voice inside your head starts to whisper. It reminds you of the  worry of failure or taking a risk on yourself. This voice can lead to inaction, which is something that will hold you back from achieving your goals. Now is not the time to listen to this voice. Now is the time to recognise it for what it is: fear. Not all fear is bad, but some of it will hold you back from reaching your full potential. Some of us are afraid that we’re too old to learn new things; we’re too old to change careers; we’re too old to do anything other than what we’re already doing. The truth is everyone has different levels of comfort and abilities when it comes to changing things in our lives, but it all begins with adopting a positive mindset.

 

2) Explore your goals

When you’ve faced your fears, it is vital to pinpoint the end goal. This step requires you to explore in depth what might bring you career satisfaction and ask yourself questions from an internal perspective such as ‘What do you want?’ ‘When do you want it?’ ‘Who are you working with?’ Where are you working? ‘How much money do you make?’ The answers to these questions may seem obvious at first, but once they are properly articulated, they can unlock direction and clarity in your life. Once you know where you want to go, what matters most is how quickly and efficiently can you get there.

 

3) Network in person

A fun way to meet people in your industry is to attend events where professionals go to network and mingle. As you attend more events and talk to more people, you’ll feel more confident about your abilities and about networking in general. By communicating with people at networking events, you’ll show them that you’re professional, knowledgeable and ambitious. You may even find out about a job that hasn’t been publicly advertised yet. Do your research online beforehand so that you know which companies are going to be represented at each event.

 

4) Network online

There are several ways to expand your network online, but LinkedIn is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect with the right people. A LinkedIn profile allows you to showcase your skills, professional experience, and education. It makes it easy for others to find you and gives them an idea of who you are and what you’re all about. If someone sees that you have something in common with them—a connection at a mutual business school, for example—they may be more likely to act on an introduction.

 

5) Know when to ask for help

When you ask questions, you’re making an effort to learn and understand. Asking will not only afford you the opportunity to get a better understanding but will also help manage your manager’s expectations and ensure that you deliver the work on time. One thing to remember when asking a question is to be specific in describing the task or issue. For example, if you were provided with a set of data, describe what the data is before explaining what you need to do with it.

 

6) Ask for additional responsibilities

When you show initiative and take up additional responsibilities, it will show your interest in helping your department succeed. If you find yourself with a quieter than usual workload, reach out and help in other areas. This showcases your ability to handle higher responsibilities and be a team player.

 

7) Show confidence

Confidence is key when you wish to excel in your career. In any line of work, being confident is essential to demonstrate that you’re an expert in what you do. Be assertive with your teammates or manager if you need support on anything you’re working on, but never display any arrogance the higher up you climb the ladder.

Recognise and Keep Top Talent With These Employee Recognition Ideas

A 2014 research found that appreciation for work is the number one preferred job element by employees. Attractive fixed salary, additional benefits, and company car came in at positions 8,24,and 26, respectively. Amazingly 83% of employees interviewed noted that recognition is more satisfying compared to gifts and rewards.

Retaining top talent is an indicator of organisational success. Companies with low turnover spend less on training which helps them save time and money in the long term. Employee recognition keeps staff at the workplace because it reminds them that their efforts are appreciated. In this discussion, we look at the top employee recognition ideas.

Employee Recognition Scheme

First, you must create structures for recognizing your employees by incorporating recognition into the company’s culture. An employee recognition scheme could be a formal system that makes it possible to identify and reward deserving employees.

Such a program is incomplete if you don’t have an employee recognition platform. This intuitive solution can work perfectly for your organization by recognising employees and rewarding them based on certain values, traits or aspects.

The Employee of the Month or Quarter Awards

The “Employee of the Month” initiative rewards employees who perform above and beyond their expectations. Besides giving them gifts, bonuses, and extra pay, you can extend simple gestures such as lunch with the CEO, allow them to speak during meetings, and reward them with a prime space in the office.

Most companies usually have team-building activities for employees; therefore, you can dedicate such days to recognising the best-performing employees. Be sure to reward different types of traits, behaviours, and accomplishments so that every employee has a chance to be appreciated.

Loyalty Recognition

Recognition of loyalty is a popular form of recognition that you can adapt for your company. For instance, a gold watch is not only a pricey gift but a time-honoured memory for employees who’ve worked in the organization for many years. Gift certificates, medals, and vouchers can also be excellent reward ideas.

Gift Hampers

A gift hamper or care package may not contain highly pricey items, but it is a great way to appreciate your employees. Be sure to use a branded bag so employees can take pride in working for the organization. Such a package can include; candies, snacks, handwritten notes, candles, a journal, diary, bubble bath, branded mug, and coupons.

Catch Them By Surprise

Isn’t it gratifying to receive a personal note from the CEO? Surprising your employees at the least expected moment can add a spark to their day. Take an extra step to articulate their importance to the company and why they deserve recognition.

A message via the company’s communication channels and a personal note can catch them by surprise, making them feel happy and motivated to perform better. Go the extra mile by sending a handwritten note via the postal address to their home. Also have someone deliver flowers and a thank you note to their doorstep.

Allow Them To Clock in Early At the End of Quarter

We all know how the end of quarters can be busy as everyone tries to catch up with their targets. If the job allows, surprise the team by sending them home early once the quarter ends.

For instance, organise lunch in the office to celebrate the previous quarter’s results, reward the best performers and then announce plans to clock out at 2.00 pm instead of 5.00 pm. This can be a pleasant surprise that can guarantee happiness to your employees and make them perform better in the next quarter.

Daily or Weekly Victory Recognition

Sometimes you don’t have to wait until the end of the quarter to recognize your employees. The immediate supervisors can appreciate employees’ contributions to projects daily or weekly.

Emails or slack communications are great ways to nominate the employee putting a lot of hard work into the project. The line manager can pin a performance list on the notice board for all employees to see.

Lucky Draws and Contests

Contests and competitions are fun ideas that can increase employee engagement at the workplace. Regardless of the department, the employees will be eager to participate, which can lead to a better and vibrant office dynamic.

The easier way to go about it is to offer the best performers raffle tickets to participate in a draw. The prizes include movie tickets, lunch vouchers, comedy show tickets, and a paid-off day.

Conclusion

Keeping top talents and creating a top-performing workplace requires more than a pay hike, bonuses, or even a coffee hour caterer. Whereas high salaries attract some of these talents, keeping them in the company requires a lot more. Often, your top employees may get these from a different company or competitor. Employees must be recognized as this could win their trust, honesty, and loyalty to the organization.

How To Practice Effective Leadership In The Workplace

For a company to succeed, it needs leaders with strong and effective leadership skills. An effective leader can manage the workforce efficiently to enhance productivity and greatly impact the team’s success.  

Employees who are led by great leaders tend to be more inspired, more productive, and happier when working for their organization, This can significantly affect your business’ bottom line. On the other hand, if your employees’ performance is constantly poor, and you see that your organization isn’t growing at all, it may be a sign that you’re not an effective leader and that it’s time to reassess your leadership strategies.  

Effective Leadership In The Workplace: What Is It?  

Before you go over how to reform your leadership skills, it’s good to understand what effective leadership means in the workplace. Leadership means the ability of a person to supervise and manage a company and its employees. You can tell that a person’s way of leadership is effective when they can positively influence others to do their jobs to the best of their capabilities.  

How To Practice Effective Leadership   

Here are some practices to improve your leadership skills and show effective leadership in the workplace.  

1. Regularly Ask For Feedback About Your Leadership 

Your employees aren’t the only ones who need feedback to improve and grow. Leaders can also benefit from honest feedback.  

Thus, you may regularly ask for feedback from your team members about your leadership strategies and how your leadership has affected them professionally and personally. Be ready to go through an organizational change if it’s needed to improve your management style. But what is organizational change? You can take up leadership coaching for more information about it and identify more growth opportunities as a leader.  

2. Be A Teacher

An effective leader isn’t measured by how you control or command people to do things. When all you do is control or command people, your workplace will be filled with resentful and disengaged staff who’ll be uninspired to perform well for the company. Eventually, this will lead to chronic workplace stress, high staff turnover, and poor revenue growth.

To be an effective leader, you must become your employees’ teacher, not their controller. If you want them to do things a certain way, show them how it’s done rather than barking at them and telling them what to do. You should lead by example.  

3. Be Open To Change

Effective leaders should be open-minded and have the emotional intelligence to accept change. When you’re not open to new ideas or resistant to change, you’re hindering the growth of your organization and blocking the fresh ideas or thoughts from the talents around you. Soon, when your employees realize that their ideas don’t matter, it’ll affect their work performance or trigger them to leave your company.

To be an effective leader, you must be open to new ideas and embrace change as it comes. Listening and accepting the ideas and insights of your employees will not only help grow your organization, but it’ll also make your employees feel heard and seen. When this happens, success and innovation will follow.

4. Promote Honest And Open Communication 

Honest and open communication is among the most crucial elements of good leadership. With it, you’re setting an excellent example for your employees to do the same. 

So, communicate with your employees regularly and encourage them to be open and honest with their feelings or concerns. You may also consider the communication tool that they prefer the most. Perhaps some prefer to communicate honestly via email, text, phone call, or face-to-face. Regardless of their preference, ensure you’re genuinely interested in communicating and listening to your team members. 

5. Promote Relationships

Some leaders have this habit of wanting their employees to compete to encourage them to do their best and build a high-performing team. While friendly competition isn’t necessarily bad, too much competitiveness in the workplace can sabotage collaboration and teamwork. So, instead of evaluating your employees based on how they’ve outwitted their co-workers, encourage them to develop good and positive relationships with one another. Promoting relationships will help cultivate a positive work environment and increase everyone’s productivity levels.

Takeaway

Becoming a good and effective leader takes time. After all, good leaders are made and not born. So, take note of these practices, and don’t be afraid to add or modify your leadership strategies when necessary. With these tips, along with your hard work and dedication, you can become a great leader and lead your company to success.

How Workforce Management Tools Impact Employee Experience

A great employee experience is one of the most critical factors in determining whether your employees will stay with you and, if they do stay, how long they’ll stick around. But what does it mean to have an excellent employee experience? And how can you leverage technology to make that happen for your organisation?

This article looks deeper at how workforce management tools impact employee experience by discussing how they help organizations improve their overall performance, create better work environments, and increase retention rates.
But first, here’s a closer look at what makes up an excellent employee experience.

What Is An Excellent Employee Experience?

The term ’employee experience’ has been used more frequently over the past few years as companies realize that providing a positive workplace experience is just as important as delivering a high-quality product or service.
Many workers nowadays are looking for jobs where they feel valued, respected, and appreciated, as well as where they’re able to grow professionally. It means employers must focus on creating a culture that encourages growth and development among their staff members while also ensuring everyone feels comfortable, safe at work, and connected by using tools or HR software such as those provided by teamsense.com and others.
So, what exactly constitutes an excellent employee experience? Here are some key components to look into:

• Open Communication
Communication plays a huge role in any relationship, but especially when it comes to working with other people. Employees want to know that their managers and co-workers understand them and they’re being heard. They also want to ask questions without feeling like they’re bothering anyone and receive feedback from their peers so they can learn from each other.

• High Level Of Flexibility
Workers today are often required to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities, leading to stress and burnout. Companies should provide flexible schedules and policies so employees can take advantage of opportunities to advance their careers. Additionally, they should offer training programs and mentorship opportunities so employees can gain new skills and build confidence.

• Solid Support
Employees enjoy working with companies that care about them and want to help them succeed. They want to feel like they belong and are part of something bigger than themselves. Companies should offer benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and tuition reimbursement to achieve this. They should also encourage open communication between employees and supervisors and set clear expectations for both parties.

• Training And Development
These two workplace components play a significant role in helping employees reach their full potential. Workers with access to training and professional development opportunities tend to perform better and are less likely to leave their current positions.
Companies should ensure that all employees can access training and development opportunities, including online learning platforms, workshops, and conferences. They should also ensure that employees have the resources to do their job well such as office supplies, equipment, and technology.

• Employee Recognition
Recognition is a powerful motivating factor for employees. It helps them feel recognized for their contributions and accomplishments and encourages them to continue doing great things. Companies should recognize employees for their hard work and achievements through award ceremonies, promotions, bonuses, and other forms of recognition.

• Unique Company Culture
Culture refers to an organization’s employees’ values, beliefs, and attitudes. A strong culture will create a positive environment where employees feel supported, encouraged, and inspired to do their best work. Good cultures foster trust, transparency, collaboration, and respect.

• Progressive Career Paths
Career paths are another vital component of an effective employee experience. Workers want to know that there are opportunities available within their organizations for growth and advancement. They also want to know that their employers support their career goals and aspirations.

• How Does A Workforce Management System Help?
A workforce management system (WMS) provides many different types of information to HR professionals and business leaders. These systems can help you manage your entire workforce, whether you’re looking to hire or fire someone, track performance, promote employees, or even automate specific processes.

Here are the key features of a WMS:

• Absence Tracking
Absenteeism is a huge problem for businesses across the globe. Many workers have experienced being absent from their workplace at some point. As a manager, an absence management tool can help you keep tabs on how often your employees miss work. You can use these tools to identify trends and patterns to take action before absences become too frequent.
For instance, if you notice that a particular department consistently misses many days, you might consider restructuring assignments or identifying reasons for absences to take necessary actions and reduce absenteeism. Your members will be happier and more productive, ultimately leading to higher productivity and lower turnover rates.

• Performance Management
Performance management tools provide managers with detailed data about each employee’s performance. The data can be used to determine which employees need additional training, coaching, or mentoring. Managers can also use this data to evaluate employees based on specific criteria such as attendance, productivity, customer service, quality, safety, and compliance.
A sound workforce management system can help you measure and improve employee performance in real-time. If you find that a particular employee isn’t meeting expectations, you can quickly address the issue and make adjustments to ensure they meet those expectations moving forward.
Doing so will increase the likelihood of retaining top talent and boosting morale among your team members. Valued and appreciated employees tend to have better job satisfaction and perform better overall.

• Recruiting And Hiring
Recruitment and hiring software allow companies to streamline the hiring process and save valuable time. Many recruitment platforms allow recruiters to search through thousands of resumes and apply them directly to open positions. Once they’ve found qualified candidates, they can send job alerts to prospective employees and follow up with interviews.
These tools can also help you build strong relationships with potential hires by providing insights into their personality traits, interests, skills, and other important characteristics. In addition, recruiting software can help you create an effective onboarding program that helps new employees get acclimated to your company culture and learn all the essential functions of their role.

• Time Reporting
Time tracking and reporting software can help you monitor the progress of your projects and stay on schedule. It’s easy to install and use, and most systems offer robust reporting features that allow you to analyse project costs, track hours worked, and generate invoices.
The best time tracking apps also include mobile capabilities, allowing you to access reports on the go. For example, checking the status of a project becomes accessible even without having to log back onto your computer.

• Document Management
Document management solutions can help you manage documents across multiple devices and locations. They can also help you organize files according to type (e.g., payroll forms) and location (e.g., accounting spreadsheets).
This makes it easier to locate any document when needed. Plus, these tools are often integrated with email services, making it simple to share documents via email or attach them to messages.

• Project Tracking
Project management tools can help you plan, coordinate, and complete large tasks efficiently. These programs typically feature robust task lists, calendars, and collaboration tools that enable teams to work together from anywhere at any time.
They’re beneficial for managing projects that require several people to work simultaneously. You can assign tasks to different team members, add notes and comments, and keep track of deadlines.
Lastly, many project management applications provide analytics showing how well each member performs. This information can identify areas where improvements must be made and guide future training efforts.

Why Should You Consider Workforce Management Solutions?

Workforce management solutions are helpful for human resources professionals as they help companies manage their workforce effectively. Here are reasons to consider adopting new HR technology:

• They Help Manage Staffing Needs
One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is finding qualified workers. HR managers often struggle to find enough skilled candidates to fill open positions. Staffing shortages are so widespread in certain industries that employers sometimes have trouble filling roles within six months.
HR tech helps solve these problems by providing real-time visibility into available talent, allowing HR teams to match skills with hiring needs quickly. It improves efficiency and morale because it reduces the time spent searching for qualified candidates.

• They Improve Performance Reviews
When was the last time you received a great review? Chances are it wasn’t very recent. Asking for feedback is one of the most effective ways to improve employee satisfaction and retention. Unfortunately, many companies lack the tools needed to conduct meaningful performance reviews.
HR tech allows organizations to track employee performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and provide constructive feedback. It also makes it easier to hold supervisors accountable for meeting goals and objectives.

• They Increase Productivity
Employees who feel appreciated, engaged, and productive tend to be more motivated and perform better. But productivity suffers when they don’t know what to expect daily from their manager.
The right HR platform can help managers communicate expectations, set clear goals, and reward success. These features allow them to create a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

• They Reduce Turnover
Employees leave their position for various reasons such as burnout, stress, and other personal reasons. And the cost associated with replacing those employees can be high, costing companies a large amount of money due to turnover.
But HR tech can reduce this financial burden. For example, some platforms offer automated onboarding processes that make it easier for new hires to get up to speed. Others enable managers to send personalized messages to team members who haven’t met specific deadlines or completed assigned tasks.

• They Create Better Teams
A strong relationship between co-workers is critical to creating a cohesive workplace culture. When your members trust and respect each other, they become more likely to collaborate and share information.
However, some teams aren’t as tight-knit as others. Some members may not even know how to interact effectively with colleagues. HR technology can help address this problem by giving managers access to detailed reports on team dynamics. Managers use this data to identify potential issues before they escalate into conflicts.

• They Improve Communication
Communication is key to building effective teams. For your team to succeed, you must keep them informed about company initiatives, upcoming projects, and changes to policies and procedures.
Some HR tools provide real-time updates via email, text message, or Slack. Other platforms allow managers to share documents and presentations directly from their desktops.

• They Help Companies Grow
Lastly, HR technology can help companies grow by helping them manage human capital more efficiently. When you automate workforce management processes, you free up time for managers to spend on strategic planning and business development. As a result, your company gets better equipped to compete in today’s competitive market.

Choosing The Right Workforce Management Tool

If you’re looking for the right HR software solution, there are some things you should consider before choosing one. Here are key questions to ask yourself:

· What Kind Of Business Do I Run?

If you’re running a smaller operation, you may want to choose a cloud-based system that offers basic functionality. However, if you have a larger organization, you’ll probably benefit from a comprehensive package with advanced features like employee scheduling, performance reviews, and compensation planning.

· How Much Data Am I Collecting?

If you don’t collect a lot of data, you might not need a fully-featured HR platform. But if you’re storing sensitive information, ensure you have adequate security measures.

· How Will My Employees Interact With This Tool?

Whether you’re using an online portal or a desktop, you’ll likely need to train your staff on navigating the interface.

· Do I Need External Systems Integration?

Many HR platforms come with built-in integration with third-party systems, including payroll providers, CRM software, and ERP packages. Some offer integrations with social media networks, too.

· Will I Need Additional Support?

Some HR tools include customer service representatives who can answer questions and troubleshoot problems. Ensure that your chosen provider has 24/7 live support ready to assist you anytime you encounter an issue.

Bottom Line

Workforce management solutions can improve employee satisfaction and productivity while reducing costs. If you don’t invest in an HR tool now, you could miss out on these benefits later. So, what are you waiting for? Start using one today.

How To Find The Right Internship For You

Finding the right internship requires some time and dedication. The internship has to be aligned with your interests, goals, and resources. The main goal of an internship is to be a stepping stone to your career path, and to provide an introduction to the workforce.

Here are some of the ways you can find the right internship for you:

 

  1. Research Available Internships

You’ll have to look for available internships within your area, and you can do so by doing thorough research. Simply waiting to hear about available internships from family and friends won’t be ideal because you’ll miss out on other opportunities that may align better with your skills and interests.

Besides the digital platforms, you can check out your local community board or find out from your nearest library whether there are any announcements for internship applications. Consider setting aside a period of your day or week wherein you’ll be actively searching for internships that you can apply to.

 

  1. Consider Your Options

As you research, you’ll discover the different internship options that may be available to you. For example, you may discover the difference between an internship and an externship. Medical Aid says that an internship is more formal and arranged within an organization, whereas an externship is more temporary and flexible. It’s important to weigh out such options when finding the right internship, as well as consider your time frame, career goals, and the mandates you’re expected to have completed.

 

  1. Attend Job Fairs

A job fair is an event where different organizations and companies display themselves with the intent of attracting applicants. When you attend job fairs, you can speak with the representatives and find out about the following:

  • Services and products that the company or organization offers
  • Internship structure
  • Application process
  • Benefits of the internship program
  • Networking opportunities
  • Post-internship hiring opportunities

Having gathered such information from the job fairs, you can decide which of your options best align with your career goals and intentions.

 

  1. Speak With Colleagues

Consider speaking with your colleagues who’ve gone through internships. They’re in a position to recommend specific programs that you can look into. They may share their personal experiences regarding various work environments, what you can expect, and how to handle different situations, such as the interview process and induction routines.

The conversations you can have with your colleagues might give you a glimpse of whether a particular internship program might be the right fit for you. Still, it’s a must to do your own research after discussing options with others, as experiences aren’t universal. After careful consideration of all the information you’ve gathered, you can now better decide which option you should opt for.

 

  1. Apply For The Internship

Consider applying to different internships; avoid placing all your eggs in one basket.

Make sure to read the application instructions of each internship program as each one will be different. In general, however, make sure to attach all the required documents, as failing to do so may disqualify your application. So that you won’t miss any, you can create a checklist and tick off each document as you obtain it.

Depending on the internship program you’re applying to, you may also be required to write an application letter. You can find numerous legitimates resources online that can help your letter stand out, so crafting one shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve.

 

  1. Prepare For The Interview

Having applied to the internships that may suit you best, you’ll need to prepare for the interviews you’re invited to.

The first impression is crucial during an internship interview. You have to exude that kind of confidence that says you’re ready for the position, and this can be communicated by how you dress and speak, for instance. Consider researching different styles of dress suits and opt for one that not only suits your style, but also presents a positive image as you enter the interview room.

Also, be mindful that communication isn’t only verbal, but physical as well. Your body language will communicate with the interviewers before you even open your mouth. Thus, try to learn the correct postures and gestures when greeting, sitting, or standing as you go through the interview process.

You can also prepare a few questions that you can ask the interviewees, which can help you decide whether the company or organization is suited for your skillset and goals. Interviewers usually provide a time when you can ask them some relevant queries.

 

Conclusion

Discovering the right internship for you requires time and effort. You’ll need to research the kinds of internships available and learn the different dynamics, such as an externship and internship. You can also attend job fairs, or speak with colleagues who’ve previously attended internships.

When sending your applications, take note of all instructions and requirements to reduce the risks of disqualification. Prepare for the interviews, and don’t hesitate to ask questions to help you make your final decision.

Internship

Top Apprenticeship Opportunities For School Leavers

Five Apprenticeship Sectors You Should Consider as a School Leaver

Recently completed your GCSEs or A-Levels and unsure what’s next?

Building expertise in a field and getting your foot in the door can be difficult – which is why apprenticeships offer a great way to move from education to employment, allowing you to earn a wage whilst learning from experienced professionals in your chosen field.

As a school leaver having finished your GCSEs or A-Levels, you will usually have three apprenticeship levels open to you.

Level 2: also known as “intermediate apprenticeships”, these are generally agreed to be the equivalent of 5 passes at GCSE level, with the only requirement usually being a minimum of level 3 (D) in English and Maths GCSEs to apply.

Level 3: also known as “advanced apprenticeships”, these are generally agreed to be the equivalent of 2 passes at A level. Although requirements vary by company, these roles will commonly expect either a level 2 apprenticeship or a certain set of GCSE/A-Level results to apply.

Level 4: also known as “higher apprenticeships”, these are less common and often have higher competition for placement. Applying for these courses will usually require solid A-Level results in relevant subjects or an equivalent qualification such as NVQs or a BTEC.

As a school leaver going out into the world of employment, it can be difficult to know which areas offer the best potential for progression, stability and a rewarding career. With that in mind, we’re breaking down five in-demand areas you should consider for an apprenticeship.

 

Construction

The UK government’s recently-published list of the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers for 2022 is full of companies in the construction industry, with 10 of the top 100 apprenticeship companies operating in the construction sector – and for good reason. The wealth and range of opportunities as part of the top 100 list alone is huge, from electrical apprenticeships with Clarkson Evans to painting and decorating apprenticeships with Bagnalls, all offering the chance to gain employable skills in a booming industry with high demand for jobs, excellent pay and progression opportunities to management or even directorial roles. Plus, you can always be sure that no two days on the job will be the same; if you choose a career in construction, you’ll be visiting a range of sites as part of your job, each one presenting new challenges, opportunities and rewards. You’ll also get to see the projects you work on develop over time, with immense satisfaction completing each one and seeing it have an impact on its environment.

 

Energy

The energy sector is currently thriving with job opportunities as the UK aims for net-zero and a sustainable energy future following the commitments made at COP26 last year. With around 738,000 people currently employed in the UK energy sector, there’s no shortage of job opportunities around the country and apprentices will have the opportunity to develop an exciting and varied career with competitive pay. From technical and mechanical roles to opportunities in design and engineering, these offer the perfect way to get your foot in the door in an innovative sector that’s set to see enormous growth, with a projected 50% increase in electricity demand by 2035.

 

Digital Marketing

As a rapidly developing industry with a steady annual growth of 10% in the UK, there’s currently a huge demand for those with digital marketing skills in roles like paid social media, analytics and content marketing. With a Digital Marketing apprenticeship, you’ll build knowledge of marketing basics and experience a wide range of business areas as part of your course. As you start getting a feel for the sector, you’ll usually get the chance to choose a preferred area to specialise in such as content writing, analytics, website development, social media, digital PR or even account management. An apprenticeship provides the perfect balance of theory and practical experience to enter a marketing role, as you’ll spend time in college lessons and shadowing colleagues as well as getting to work on your own marketing campaigns and build a portfolio of work.

 

IT

With a 50% year-on-year rise in tech job vacancies in 2021 and IT vacancies currently making up 13% of total job vacancies, an IT apprenticeship ensures you’ll be going into a sector with plenty of demand and opportunities. An IT apprenticeship encompasses a wide range of jobs, allowing you to specialise as you progress in your apprenticeship role and discover the areas that interest you. Whether it’s setting up PCs, installing new software or becoming a troubleshooting whiz, an IT apprenticeship will let you build key abilities which will serve you for the rest of your career. Another advantage of working in IT is the level of flexibility; 21.6% of all job ads in the IT sector are currently advertised as remote roles, meaning you can choose from a range of companies and courses across the country regardless of your location.

 

Health & Social Care

Like construction, Health and Social Care feature heavily on the Government’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2022 list, showing the number of excellent opportunities available here. Ideal for those who want people-focused roles, apprenticeships in this sector can include everything from social worker jobs to management or healthcare positions, giving you the chance to gain knowledge and soft skills from experienced workers in your field whilst enjoying a rewarding job role which makes an impact in people’s lives on a daily basis. With over 35,000 live jobs currently listed on the NHS Jobs website alone, this is a sector that’s always in demand and provides excellent stability for your future career.

Joanne Gualda, Group Marketing Director at Bagnalls, comments: “Apprenticeships can provide the perfect chance for school leavers to gain education and practical experience in their chosen field, allowing them to earn as they learn and offering the ideal stepping stone into a successful career. The recently-published Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2022 list shows the variety and wealth of apprenticeship opportunities available in the UK, regardless of whether you’re looking for something digital, hands-on or a mixture of the two.”

How Degrees Help You Progress in a Hands-On Career

Books, degree scroll diploma and graduation cap

Higher education is becoming increasingly popular. So far in 2022, 320,000 sixth form students have already applied for university courses starting in September. This is 14,000 more than the previous year and 50,000 more than 2019. But does the rising number of applicants suggest a university education is essential?

You can, of course, have a successful career with or without higher education. You might find that a degree will help you progress in your chosen field though. This includes hands-on careers, such as mechanical engineering and construction management.

Here, we will explore the ways that higher education can help you achieve your career goals.

 

Mechanical engineer

Mechanical engineers are inventors. They design and build innovative machines, from electric generators to gas turbines and even elevators. If you’re interested in the inner workings of machinery and enjoy problem solving, this could be the career for you.

There are multiple routes into engineering. Depending on the role you aspire to have, you can succeed in the sector without completing a university degree. If you gain relevant experience and prove your willingness to learn on the job, there is no reason why you can’t work in this sector.

On the other hand, some employers may require you to have a higher education. A mechanical engineering course will fortify you with expert knowledge to excel in this career, whether you’re learning how to use a 3D printer or exploring the laws of thermodynamics.

 

Paramedic

Paramedics deliver life-saving care to patients. They work alongside emergency care assistants, who are responsible for controlling severe bleeding, treating someone with broken or fractured bones, and much more.  These roles are great for quick thinkers that work well under pressure.

Other than passing a literacy and numeracy test, there are no entry requirements to become an emergency care assistant. If you’re eager to help those around you, this role allows you to learn and succeed from your own hands-on experience.

In order to progress from an emergency care assistant to a paramedic, however, you will need to complete a higher education qualification. This can be a university degree (BA Paramedic Sciences) or an apprenticeship degree, depending on your preferences.

 

 

Construction manager

No two days are the same for a construction labourer. During a typical working day, you might operate heavy machinery, work on a scaffolding, and build a brick wall. This role can also be social, building relationships with those around you.

There is no right way into construction. There are BTEC qualifications that prepare you with all of the necessary skills to succeed as a labourer. As well as this, you can undergo an apprenticeship programme or start from lower-level positions and learn on the job.

In order to progress in this role, you may need to complete a university degree. Construction managers oversee the building site. Therefore, higher education may prepare you for a number of responsibilities, from managing staff to reviewing architectural and engineering plans.

University can be for everyone. It doesn’t matter which stage of your life you are at, higher education could help you achieve your career goals. Do you think this can help you with your hands-on job?

Best Social Media Marketing & Training Company 2021 – California

Office with Chairs and Computers and the Smarty Social Logo on the wall

Smarty Social Media is a social-first healthcare marketing agency that prides itself on finding solutions that drive growth and disruption for clients- inspired by innovations in the health and wellness space that can improve and even save lives.

Smarty Social Media’s founder and CEO Jami Eidsvold, was among social’s early adopters who saw the potential and excitement in using social channels to build brands. Her passion for social media led her away from traditional PR to explore what she saw as the future — influencer and social media marketing. Thus, Smarty Social was born in 2013, and eight years later, this one-woman shop has evolved into a highly creative, results-oriented team of 25 full-time employees plus a network of trusted specialists.

The vast majority of SSM’s business is referral-based, which honours the company. Its focus is always on delivering the highest quality work and delivering it with exceptional commitment and client service. Additionally, SSM uses its social channels to promote its work and has entered and won numerous industry awards to validate its experience.

Founder Jami Eidsvold is also a highly sought-after speaker and educator, regularly speaking at reputable industry conferences and events, opening the door to many new opportunities in its space.

SSM is a full-service social media marketing agency and with core services including social media branding and strategy, social advertising campaigns, influencer marketing, content creation and community management, along with its proprietary Smarty Social Academy training program. The company’s clients range from well-established healthcare companies to medical device start-ups looking to disrupt their space. SSM’s team has a long history and expertise in managing social media marketing within these highly regulated industries.

The main driver of SSM’s success has come from the growth of DTC marketing among the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. As a result, the company researched how regulated clients could operate in the social sphere while remaining compliant and mitigating risk. SSM has since thrived by working hard with clients and their legal and regulatory departments to build trust and collaboration that allows progressive social programming despite heavily regulated environments.

Today, one of the company’s core capabilities is successfully implementing social programming for companies in regulated spaces. In addition, SSM has become a trusted partner in exploring and advocating for innovative campaigns and is known for creating smart social solutions for its clients.

While the company has a ‘traditional’ list of marketing services, SSM has developed a proprietary approach allowing the ability to custom tailor each recommendation based on each clients’ unique business challenge and needs. Moreover, with Covid-19 impacting all areas of life and business, SSM was deeply engaged with all its clients in working through pivot plans to help navigate the complex combination of pandemic implications and social unrest that made for a sensitive marketing climate.

The company worked tirelessly to help clients find solutions, adjust tone and approach to content as well as identify and capitalize on areas of opportunity. SSM then shared this knowledge via its social networks and offered free social strategy sessions with its CEO and top executives to businesses of all sizes — no strings attached.

Recently, SSM has expanded and adjusted its Smarty Social Academy program – a customized social training program for small businesses, franchises, executives, and healthcare providers. The company found that the last year’s challenges exacerbated the need for companies of all sizes to have effective and strategic social media knowledge and know-how.

SSM is constantly improving and expanding its Social Academy program by continually adding to its roster of customized social media training programs and is now offering social strategy development, online training programs, and live training events.

Other services included are 1:1 coaching sessions, workshops, and content development packages to kick start social media marketing for businesses that the cumbersome big agency model underserves.

The Social Academy was born from reacting to its clients’ requests for education and training, which SSM then developed into a specific offering that it now markets independently and a service to more traditional clients.

Its training programs range from LinkedIn executive training sessions to coach leaders on building their brand on social, to multi-day social boot camps to help doctors market their practice and the procedures or products they use from our clients. There is a very specific need in the medical space with doctors and practices — and an area where SSM has vast expertise within.

For business enquiries, contact Steph Goddard from Smarty Social Media via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.smartysocialmedia.com

Jami Eidsvold from Smarty Social Media
Jami Eidsvold

Seeking a Career in Construction: Top 5 Areas in Britain to Start Out or Further Your Ambitions

construction industry

After a long period of uncertainty and inevitable halts, the construction industry is gradually getting back to business. As workloads increase, more and more talented tradespeople are asked to take on the sector’s challenging, polyhedric jobs. In fact, in 2021, the demand for construction workers reached a 20-year high.  

The Construction Skills Network forecasts that by 2025, the industry will need about 216,800 new entries to keep the market rolling. So if you are looking for a change of career, or are already working in the field, the good news is that there are plenty of opportunities up for grabs. From building and remodelling to maintenance and repairing duties, you can choose the role that adequately suits your skills.

Construction jobs are available all over the country. But what are the best areas in Britain to embrace a career in this rewarding industry? Here, with the help of Van Ninja, a UK van leasing company, we explore where in the UK you may want to get to work with bricks, hammers, and spanners.

 

1) South East

When it comes to pursuing a career in construction, the South East of England is the place to be. With a whopping 58,204 construction firms in the area, it is no surprise that this region tops our table, clinching the crown of Britain’s trades-friendly location.

On average, each business in the sector hires 210 employees, which suggests that there is a wide range of vacancies for potential workers. This is confirmed by the number of construction job posts on Indeed: there are 14,734 available roles.

What’s more, the South East has the highest number of new build constructions in the country (25,482). It is no surprise, then, that tradespeople in this part of the UK will rarely be out of work. Not to mention that construction workers in the South East benefit from a respectable salary. An average pay of £24,545 is arguably the icing on the cake.

 

2) Greater London

The capital city is known for offering its citizens endless opportunities, both in terms of professions and leisurely activities. In this respect, there is no hiding that London is a great location for those working in the construction sector too.

Sitting in second place, Greater London hosts 58,296 construction firms (a national record!). If you are wondering which British region has the least, the answer is the North East (9,516). As an ever-expanding metropolis, London is home to 21,617 new builds, and it rewards its tradespeople with an average salary of £26,887. Of course, it is an expensive city, but you can earn enough to make the most of its splendid amenities.

Furthermore, you can expect to have a stable and successful career. Every construction company, in fact, has an average of 209 employees, and available vacancies on Indeed amount to 8,364.

 

3) East

In third position, we find the East of England. The area earns itself a well-deserved bronze medal as it features 19,164 new builds in the region and has 43,461 construction firms.

On average, each business employs 172 workers, meaning that the location conceals several job opportunities. From working on construction sites to carrying around equipment with van leasing models, you are bound to enjoy a busy role. Not only is gratifying, but it is also a good source of income. In the East, construction workers tend to earn £24,177 per year.

 

4) West Midlands

The West Midlands only just misses out on a place on the podium. However, it is safe to say that it is still a very valid location to pursue a profession in the construction field.

One of its main advantages are the generous wages that workers can aim for. In fact, on average, a construction worker in the West Midlands takes home £23,204 every year. In proportion to the cost of living in the region, these pay rates leave employees with a decent amount of spending money.

Additionally, over the last year, the area has seen low changes in the number of equipment sold (15.10%), which indicates more stability in the sector.

 

5) North West

Dulcis in fundo, we wrap up our chart with another great location for aspiring – or existing – construction workers: the North West. With cities such as Manchester and Liverpool, it is perhaps not surprising to discover that the region offers many professional opportunities. On Indeed alone, there are 4,294 construction job ads.

The North West has 31,623 construction firms within its imaginary borders, and each company tends to hire around 164 employees. How much can you expect to earn? The answer is £23,800. For the area, this is a very competitive rate.

 

As we can see, the construction industry presents an array of possibilities and benefits for potential workers. With an increasing demand for tradespeople across the country, a job in this sector can be both rewarding and profitable.

Where will you kickstart – or continue – your construction career? We hope this list will help you make the choice that best suits your needs and ambitions.   

How Does Training IT Professionals Improve Performance

IT Training

With the advent of technology, using digital tools has become more prevalent than before, as business owners now rely on them to manage tons of tasks and ultimately improve efficiency. Therefore, as workplace strategies continue to evolve, corporate organizations need to align with these transformations in knowledge and skills.

One effective way to do that is by providing your IT professionals with efficient and consistent training. It widens their knowledge base, keeps them updated, and generally transforms how they handle their day-to-day operations. While training comes with costs, the returns on investment are immense because your staff becomes more productive.

That said, here is how training your IT professionals can improve performance:

 

1. It Enhances Skills and Knowledge

Training your IT professionals steadily increases their professional competencies, hence technical proficiency. Here are some of the vital things your IT team can learn during training programs:   

  • Risk management and safety measures: They can learn how to assess risks, and the strategies to mitigate or reduce exposure. E.g., ways to approach cybersecurity threats.  
  • How to use an upgraded system: Training provides a framework on how to navigate within a new system. For that reason, you’d want to check out Protech training and similar services to help your IT professionals to implement and capitalize on the latest technologies.  
  • Efficient customer service: It means how to provide the finest customer experience during service delivery. For example, the best way to resolve customer complaints and respond to their queries.  
  • Quality standards: By understanding the standards of services required and how their roles are aligned to business objectives, your IT department can strive to minimize mistakes and provide a higher quality output.  

Application of these qualities in day-to-day roles boosts operational efficiency, thus ensuring consistency in production.  

 

2. It Prepares Your IT Professionals For New Responsibilities  

As a business owner, you may want to reduce employee turnover costs by promoting from within rather than getting new professionals from the job market. It is one way to boost your workers’ morale as they’ll feel they’re part of a supportive business environment.

That said, training programs can help prepare your workers for high-level responsibilities. They foster a smooth transition by ensuring your workers are fit to fill out the hard-to-reach positions successfully. For instance, if there’s a particular software program they’ll utilize in their next role, it’d be best if they learn it beforehand.

On the whole, training improves worker output during job promotions in the following ways:

  • Prepares your staff to face pressure or challenges in a higher position.  
  • It boosts your workers’ sense of confidence in their abilities. They’ll be motivated and determined to reach greater heights and prove their value.  
  • It ensures standardized work processes. Because of similar training, they’ll apply uniform and efficient procedures.   

Therefore, as a business owner, this saves you time and money as it reduces the need for constant supervision or correcting bad performances.  

 

3. It Improves Team Functionality

In IT, most professionals may be required to work on specific projects in teams to figure out the complex procedures together. So through training, these groups are optimized, enabling them to focus on what’s rewarding and productive for the team and the whole organization. In essence, building the right team of IT professionals through training ensures better performance of tasks because they can:

  • Ensure cohesiveness by preventing domination of individual agendas.
  • Build on each other’s strengths.
  • Clearly define action plans and roles to address specific tasks.
  • Unanimously focus on a common goal. Therefore, they can’t stray away from predetermined objectives.
  • Properly utilize shared resources.
  • Consolidate different approaches and styles.

 

4. It Addresses Weaknesses

While an employee may be better skilled in one area of the job, it’s also highly likely that they have gaps in other professional skills. Luckily, through training, mentors can work directly with your tech team to identify the areas for improvement.  

After understanding their learning styles, they can effectively build up knowledge in the areas that need improvement and upgrade their performances. Therefore, with adequate background knowledge and consistent experience, they can translate value to customers through better service delivery.   

 

Conclusion

Training is an indispensable way to keep your IT professionals competitive. As a business owner, you can reap a myriad of benefits by producing a better workforce. Essentially, you can improve performance in the workplace by increasing the knowledge base, preparing workers for more significant roles, transforming teamwork, and addressing areas of improvement. Also, note that well-trained workers are more satisfied and can contribute to organizational success.

A Basic Guide to Executing An MSP Business Model

MSP

Emerging decades ago, the managed service provider (MSP) business model was a product of the instant popularity of the internet. Today, with the fast-paced advancement of technology, MSPs have matured into an on-demand mechanism for delivering IT services and have become a core part of almost any modern business– from startups to large enterprises. 

MSPs like Buchanan Technologies, a Toronto based IT support services firm, are hired to provide IT-related tasks from remote monitoring and tech support to cybersecurity management. The strong demand for MSPs and potentially high revenue have made them an attractive business model for budding entrepreneurs. 

In this article, we’re sharing the steps and insights on how to start and execute a successful MSP business model. 

 

1. Define and Document Your Business Strategy

The first step in how to sell IT and managed services is to brainstorm your strategy. A business strategy is a clear set of plans, goals, and actions outlining how a business will compete in a specific market or industry with its products and services. 

Creating a business strategy is critical for any business looking to establish and grow its business successfully. In addition, it’s good practice to document your strategy. It should detail all aspects of your MSP business and should include measurable and auditable objectives and targets. 

 

2. Developing Your Offering

Once you develop your strategy, you must start developing your MSP offering. Here, you need to define which technical services you’ll offer and how you’ll bundle them together. Even if you have the skills or a team with a range of technical services, you need to focus more on key areas and ones that can bring you the most profitability. 

You can do this by checking the local market and determining the demand in your area. You also want to consider which services you can offer most effectively in terms of skills and cost. For instance, which technical services do you excel in? Does this service require you to purchase specialized software and hardware that may be impractical for your budget? 

It’s best if you can opt for a skill you’re an expert in and fits your budget. As your business grows, you can then expand to include other IT-related services.

 

3. Formulate Your Pricing

Your pricing model offers the basis for recurring revenue. Formulating the proper pricing can make it easier for clients to assess and consume your offerings. In general, MSPs have various pricing models to choose from. The pricing model you choose will depend on the scope of your technical services and your customer base. 

  • All-You-Can-Eat: This pricing model covers all on-site and remote support for a flat monthly fee. 
  • A La Carte: This type is based on discrete services focusing on specific customer needs, providing them greater flexibility. 
  • Per-User/Per-Device: Clients are charged a flat monthly or yearly fee per user or device with this pricing model. 
  • Tiered: This model provides different tiers or bundled services. The price increases from one tier to another as more advanced or comprehensive services are included. 

 

4. Invest In the Right Software

As a tech business, MSPs rely on various software and hardware tools to do their jobs. Depending on the services you offer, there are multiple tools you’ll need. 

When choosing your software and hardware, make sure to do your homework. Evaluate the different options available and weigh their benefits and costs. You need to plan your hardware and software procurement carefully. Don’t just get the first tool you find or the one you’re familiar with because it may not prove to be the easiest to use or most cost-effective option in the long run. 

 

5. Devise a Sales and Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve fully prepared your MSP business, you need to find your first clients. Even if MSPs are in high demand, finding and getting your first client can be challenging as a starting business. Thus, you want to plan for an effective marketing and sales strategy. 

From developing an effective website and mastering SEO to connecting to customers on social media and leveraging email–there are numerous ways to market your MSP business. That said, if you have the budget and want to focus more on improving your business, you can also partner with a digital marketing services firm to help boost brand awareness and attract potential clients. 

 

Take Away

Starting an MSP business model is a lucrative venture to try today. Outlook for future growth is strong, especially now as more businesses rely on IT to offer services and products in a fast-paced digital world. 

That said, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur thinking of establishing an MSP business, we hope that this article has provided you with insights to ensure that your MSP is set up for success right from the start. 

How an MBA Can Open New Doors in Business

When you’ve had some experience with a professional industry, you can often feel like there’s more knowledge to add to your own. Or you might think that you could fancy a change in your career and business path.

One option you might look at is a position in management, which is where a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) could be a great decision. An MBA is a course that can add a lot to your employability.

In this article, we’ll break down how an MBA plays a large role within business, as well as some job roles where having one is a necessity.

 

What is an MBA and what are the benefits?

An MBA is a postgraduate degree course that is the business equivalent of a master’s degree. These courses focus on managerial and administrative practices so are usually taken when you have a few years of experience in the world of business. This is rather than taking the course after finishing your undergraduate degree and can be done remotely through online courses.

There are plenty of benefits to taking on an MBA course. Not only are you adding crucial knowledge around management and leadership roles to your repertoire, but you’ll also meet like-minded people on the course from a wide variety of business backgrounds. This networking can help you connect with businesses down the line or could encourage you to start your own business alongside these contacts.

MBA graduates are also among the highest paid of any graduates within the UK, as the skills you learn are crucial for high tier roles within business structures. In fact, research from Emolument found that the graduates with MBA degrees make £89,000 annually on average, while executive MBAs fetch up to £100,000.

 

The importance within the business sector

Within business structures, roles that are further up the chain of command will require the skills that you got while studying for your MBA. These vary from taking charge of hiring employees who are hungry to succeed to retaining the staff you currently have and encouraging their individual development.

Alternatively, the skills you pick up could revolve around managing the company’s finances and forecasting its planning and growth. This will also involve decision-making. Being able to decide what to do on a whim and take responsibility is crucial for managerial roles.

MBA degrees are renowned all over the world. Having one can open doors internationally if you were thinking about changing up your environment and day-to-day life. This feeds back into the networking you can do through the course, as a study from Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) found that 7 out of 10 graduates from business schools are international students, and 11% of that number took MBA courses in the UK.

 

Which roles require one?

There are a wide variety of roles where an MBA is needed to qualify for the job. The Business Statistics Briefing Paper from 2020 showed that within the UK alone, there are around 6 million companies and organisations in the private business sector. Having an MBA can be the key to obtaining employment within businesses in this sector.

The transferable skills you obtain through your course can help the roles that would be offered by these companies. MBAs focus a lot on the internal finances of companies, which fits into finance manager roles that revolve around budgeting the incomings and outgoings and building a timeline for future growth. Another option would be managing human resources departments, making calls on who to hire and making tough decisions around the day-to-day communication.

Roles like this often require an MBA, as CEOs and business owners want to put their trust in someone who understands the importance of what the jobs entail. Having such a qualification shows your dedication to management and the inner workings of a business and inspires a level of trust.

 

The business sector has a lot of doors that can be opened by getting an MBA. Within the sector, roles higher up in the structure of many businesses require one and offer a high salary. Having an MBA can also open a lot of doors on an international level, as they’re recognised as high-achieving degrees that hold a lot of weight and teach important skills.