Ambitions

Jun/18

22

World Cup Star’s Unbelievable Previous Jobs

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The World Cup is in full swing and naturally, it’s the talk of the office. This got us thinking about how we can tie the blog into this month-long Fiesta of Football. So we’ve been trawling the internet for stories of some of the stars at this summers’ tournament who’ve had some unexpected career paths.

Jamie Vardy

The most famous example of this is England striker Jamie Vardy, who had a variety of jobs in his early 20’s as he plied his trade in the Non-League, as low as Division 8. Most notably whilst at Halifax, he would work night shifts in a local factory producing medical splints. Handing his notice in to concentrate on Football he was offered a professional contract at Fleetwood Town a week later.

Nick Pope

Sticking with England, uncapped Burnley ‘keeper Nick Pope worked 4am shifts as a milkman as a 17-year-old after being released by Ipswich Town. He used the extra money to commute to training with Bury Town, now 26 he could be set for an appearance at the World Cup, after starting the season without a Premier League appearance.

Gabriel Jesus

Manchester City and Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus is likely to be one of the standout players of the tournament, and whilst only 21, he has also experienced a career away from Football. Whilst a youth player at Palmeiras he worked painting the streets of his local neighbourhood in 2014, in preparation for the last World Cup. He now has a mural on the walls of a housing block in the same district, which you can see here.

Carlos Bacca

The Colombia and AC Milan striker is now one of the most reliable goal scorers in Europe. Having signed his first contact with local side Atletico Junior he needed extra work to help support his family. He worked as a fisherman in Puerto Colombia and as a Bus Driver’s assistant, before a move to Belgium in 2011 allowed him to focus solely on Football.

Hannes Thor Halldorsson

Iceland’s number 1 goalkeeper nearly gave up Football at the age of 20 to focus entirely on being a Film Director. He has worked on TV and Cinema and even won awards for his productions, which he is still involved with to this day, despite being professional since 2014.

Iceland are undoubtedly the kings in this department. For instance, manager Heimir Hallgrimsson, not content with overseeing the fortunes of his nation in their first World Cup; is still a practising Dentist in his local village. Right Back Birkir Saevarsson has been working as a Salt Packer in the off-season, to stop himself ‘getting lazy’ just before the World Cup!

We hope you enjoyed some of the unusual careers that some of the players have had, let us know if you’ve heard any others during the tournament.

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Jun/18

14

World Cup 2018 – Getting The Office Involved

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It’s a football fan’s dream month and every employer’s worst nightmare. 64 games in 30 days may prove to be a little distracting for even the most dedicated worker. So there are many businesses quite rightly worried about a slump in performance, and potentially attendance, during this feast of football.

However, the best advice is to embrace the month (if England sticks to recent tournament form you will only need to cater for 3 or 4 games anyway). So things are already looking up, or down, depending on your perspective. The reality is that most of the country will be hooked if England do make it to the Knockout stages, so here are some ideas to ensure your office is fully in the spirit from Day 1.

Office Sweepstake

The easiest way to promote the football fever is through a sweepstake. There are loads of templates online to help with the time-consuming aspect. The sweepstake can promote friendly competition throughout the office and provide those with little interest an incentive to keep abreast of the scores, (and not be completely bored when the talk of the office is last nights’ riveting 1-1 draw between Sweden and South Korea, for example).

It may also provide some humour, the unfortunate soul who bags 1000-1 outsiders Panama will certainly be under no illusions of their chances. They’ll have the last laugh if Roman Torres scores another last minute winner, we’ve all been warned.

Here at Ambitions loads of us are taking part in an in-house prediction league throughout the tournament. There is a prize for the eventual winner, and the potential of 2 years’ worth of bragging rights, so plenty to play for.

Decorate!

Any excuse for bunting generally goes down quite well. In 2014 some offices around the world went all out for the event. Perhaps people can bake cakes and decorate in a football theme, or dress down Fridays can be based around football. There are plenty of ways to make the office environment befitting of the occasion.

If you can’t beat them…

Join them! If your workplace is full of England fans then the opening game against Tunisia on Monday 18th June at 7pm is perfectly scheduled. You and your colleagues can go and cheer on the Three Lions and hopefully work better afterwards. If you’re an employer it may provide a very affordable and effective team building exercise. If your workplace is backing someone else during the tournament then all the fixtures are available here.

Good luck to whoever you’re backing, let us know how your office is getting involved!

 

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Jun/18

8

5 Unbelievable Jobs Which Really Do Exist

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For most of us, at some point between the childhood hopes of ‘when I grow up I want to be…’ and becoming an adult, reality kicks in and those dreams of becoming an astronaut/pop star/professional footballer are long forgotten.

If you’re having one of those days where you’re fed up of the daily grind and are longing for a drastic change, just remember that there are people out there who have made their dreams a reality and can really put these job titles on their CV.

(warning: prepare for serious job envy)

Waterslide Tester

Sebastian Smith from Somerset made headlines back in 2013 when he landed a job as a Waterslide Tester! Not only did he get to travel the world on an all-expenses-paid basis, he received a salary of £20,000 for the pleasure.

Netflix Tagger

In short, these people are paid to binge watch Netflix all day. Sounds like something a lot of us do for free, right? Well, the job is a little more serious than that, these people add the metadata to Netflix’s shows and movies which makes them easier to find and give more relevant suggestions based on what people have watched.  It’s been likened to being a librarian.

Panda Nanny

Based in China, a Panda Protection Centre has actually been recruiting for ‘Panda Nannies’. Admittedly, with over 100,000 applications, competition was tough.  The actual job description wasn’t clear, but would definitely involve playing with and cuddling real life actual Pandas. Enough for anyone to be on the first flight to Chengdu.

Professional Bed Tester

‘Bed Tester’, ‘Duvet and Pillow Tester’, ‘Director of Sleep’; all of these have been real job titles for people. Manufacturers and hotel chains have all paid people to sleep, and then write about and rate their experiences.  Alternatively, a hotel chain made the news when they were looking for professional bed warmers; people who are paid to warm up a guest’s bed before they get in!

Chocolate Taster

Got a sweet tooth? This one could be for you! A well-known chocolate brand needed someone to test out a range of chocolate and cocoa beverage products, with a passion for confectionary being an essential requirement! Unsurprisingly, another job with tough competition, it became the 5th most viewed job on Linked In and attracted over 6000 applications.

Have you got a dream job that isn’t on the list? Let us know in the comments below.

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May/18

29

Temp of the Month – May 2018

Temp of the Month - May

May’s ‘Temp of the Month’ is Allan Harrison. Allan has worked for us for 7 months at a local engineering business. He has proved himself to be a great team player and has always been willing to take on new tasks. Allan will soon be going permanent with the business and we wish him the best of luck.

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May/18

25

GDPR – today is the day!

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Today’s blog on the very topical subject of GDPR has kindly been provided by guest blogger, Oliver Tasker, Senior Solicitor within the specialist Employment Law team at Wilkin Chapman LLP.

GDPR – IT HAS ARRIVED BUT ARE YOU READY?

It has been in the news for what seems like an age but Friday 25 May 2018 has finally arrived signalling the start of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the new data protection laws in the UK.

You may have been inundated this week with emails from various businesses asking if you would like to opt-in to continue receiving their marketing information and also updating their privacy policies, but marketing is only one element of GDPR.

So what does it mean for your business? Essentially if you process any sort of ‘personal data’ then GDPR will affect you no matter how small or large your business is. Personal data has a wide meaning and if you hold any kind of information where you can identify an individual, from customers’ details to those of employees, then you need to take active measures to ensure you are GDPR compliant. For example:

  • Do you employ staff?  You process personal data.
  • Do you have a website with a contact form? You process personal data.
  • Do you have a CCTV system? You will be processing the personal data of the people you record.

Organisations within the EU (and many outside of it) which handle individuals’ personal data will be subject to GDPR and failure to comply could, in extreme cases, lead to fines of €20m or 4% of an organisation’s annual global turnover (whichever is the greater) for data breaches. These figures are often quoted in the press to scare people into action. Essentially you need to understand the potential impact of GDPR on your business including the potential risks and how to secure the ‘personal data’ you process.  It is a good opportunity to have a spring clean and audit your data to see what you hold, how you process it and how long you retain it for. For example, do you really need to keep employment records for years after an employee has left?

The Information Commissioner (who will regulate compliance) will expect you to provide data subjects (i.e. the people whose data you hold) with certain information, and to take steps to protect their data. You will therefore need to review your policies and procedures and ensure you have the right processes, documentation and training in place in order to demonstrate compliance with the new regime. For example, do you have updated privacy notice for your staff, data protection policy, data breach incident plan, website privacy notice and cookie policy? An active approach is essential and we have advised businesses across the UK on preparing for GDPR, it’s not too late so take action now.

For further advice and guidance on GDPR or any employment law matter, Oliver can be contacted on (01522) 515987 or by email: oliver.tasker@wilkinchapman.co.uk

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May/18

24

5 Top Tips to Give the Best Presentations

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The sight of a PowerPoint presentation is not one that commonly thrills people. It is often met with a groan, tired eyes and a lack of engagement from the audience; as they look at the clock hoping it will finish quickly. However, it doesn’t have to be like this. By changing a few things we can all be giving better presentations; helping the presenter and the audience enjoy, rather than dread the experience.

10-20-30 Rule

This is a really good place to start when you initially begin to write the presentation. This is essentially a guideline to help limit the reading on the screen, and help the audience engage with you. The way it works is…

No more than 10 slides

Last for a maximum of 20 minutes

Have a minimum font size of 30 point

The slides are there to help you present, rather than present for you. If you feel that the audience needs some extra information, give them a handout to follow along and take away at the end.

Have a core message

At the start ensure your audience knows the purpose of the presentation. Have the key points on the first slide, and then again at the end. This will help direct you and the audience and ensure that nobody is in any doubt as to the intention, and they benefit they will get.

Involve the audience

Build rapport with the audience, be quite light-hearted and friendly, potentially use a joke and show them that the tone will be quite relaxed. Ask questions to the audience throughout the presentation to involve them, it’s the easiest way to promote engagement and prevent the presentation stagnating.

Make sure you are engaging

The easiest way to help your presentations is by changing your presentation style. Make sure you talk to the audience, not the screen or a piece of paper. Body language can also help. Try to avoid folding your arms or having your hands in your pockets, for example. Be open and positive, helping to promote this engagement with the audience.

Relax!

The most important thing you can do is relax and let yourself enjoy it. There is a huge amount of satisfaction from teaching and helping people. Remember that you are in control of the content, pace and tone of everything that is said; use this to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.

If you have a presentation to give, good luck! Let us know how it goes in the comments below.

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May/18

23

Derby Job Centre’s Job Fair

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We’re at Derby Job Centre’s Job Fair from 10:30am to 13:30pm today, where our colleague, Lynsey, is on hand to give you all the details of our current vacancies.

The event is taking place in the Job Centre’s offices based within the Council House, Corporation St, Derby DE1 2FU.

If you’re unable to make the event today but would like to know more about what opportunities we have in the Derby area, give our branch a call on 01332 343732.

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May/18

18

How to Declutter Your Workspace and Become More Productive

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Hit a productivity rut? It happens to most of us at some point. Check out the tips in this week’s blog and then take some time to ‘spring clean’ your workspace and get organised. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you try it out!

When you’re busy day in and day out, it doesn’t take long before your desk starts to become buried under a pile of papers / leftover lunch / sticky notes etc.

Don’t underestimate the impact a cluttered and disorganised work area can have on your productivity. Research shows a messy desk can affect the way the brain works, acting as a distraction and even resulting in feelings of frustration.

Commit to making some time, whether it’s a one-off blitz, or a small amount each day, to getting organised and you’ll reap the benefits down the line.

Assess the damage

Look at where you’re at and decide how’s best to tackle it. What do you actually need right now? What can be filed away? What needs to be kept? What can be destroyed? Be as ruthless as you can be (although, be careful not to throw away anything important!).

Organise your desk

A place for everything and everything in its place is your new motto! Keep what’s actually out on your desk to an absolute minimum, i.e. the things you use every day and what you’re currently working on. Trays, stationary pots and magazine holders can all help to keep things in their right place.

Organise your filing

Create systems which are logical and simplistic, and store things in folders or boxes which are clearly labelled. The key is not to overcomplicate; could someone else follow it if you weren’t there? Are you going to be able to sustain it?

Declutter your computer

Decluttering is not limited to paper-based files, the content of your electronic devices matter too! On your laptop or computer, your desktop, hard drive and emails can be sorted into folders and documents re-named to make them easier to find. Delete duplicates and old files to free up storage, and remove any unwanted software or programmes; not only should this save you time it could also improve the performance of your computer too.

Look at the bigger picture

Considering the amount of time we spend at work, it makes sense to create an overall environment which promotes a sense of calm. Factors such as introducing plants into the work area, natural lighting and even what colour the walls are painted can all play a part in making a pleasant atmosphere.

We hope that you’ve found these tips useful, let us know how you get on in the comments box below!

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May/18

14

Derby Colour Blast Dash 2018

Colour

Lynsey, Hollie and Kelly from our Derby office took part in the Colour Blast Dash in Darley Park on Sunday, in aid of The Laura Centre. As you can see, they all had a great time in the sun, and all completed the 5k run. You can find out more about the event here – www.colourblastdash.org

We’d like to say a massive well done to them for supporting such a worthy cause.

Clappers hand out

The team also helped by giving out ‘clappers’ to the friends and family of those participating, giving them all some extra encouragement!

Colour Run

As you can see, the event certainly lived up to its name!

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May/18

11

5 Things You NEED To Do When Writing a Job Advert

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The rise of social media and online job boards mean that it’s easier than ever to reach thousands of job seekers. So, surely finding the right people for your jobs should be simple? Ask any HR professional or recruiter and they’ll tell you that’s not the case!

You can spend hours crafting a detailed job description, and even longer putting together a wish list of the attributes your ideal candidate will have into a person specification, only to advertise a role and receive very few applications, or even worse, be inundated with hundreds of irrelevant applications from candidates with the wrong experience.

Obviously, one solution is that you could enlist the help of one of our consultants, who will use their specialist market knowledge and search techniques to find you the perfect candidate; so you can sit back and relax. Our permanent recruitment works on a success only basis, so you’ve nothing to lose, you’ll only pay us a fee if we find you someone.

If you do decide to go it alone, before you put pen to paper and write a job advert, check out our top 5 things that you need to do:

Choose the Right Job Title

Think about where you’re going to post your advert. If it’s online, candidates will often be searching for specific job titles or keywords. Put yourself in their shoes; make your job as easy to find as possible and keep it simple.  For example, people are unlikely to be searching for a job titled ‘Director of First Impressions’ when looking for Reception roles.

The Basics

First and foremost, you must ensure your job tells the candidate everything they need to know in order to establish that the fundamentals of the job is suitable for them.  Location, hours of work, salary/package, whether it’s temporary or permanent etc. are all essential. If a candidate can’t find this information easily, they’re more likely to just keep scrolling to the next advert.

Layout

Again, try and think like a candidate – they might be reading your advert on their way to work on their mobile phone. Big blocks of text can be a real turn off, so keep your adverts clear and concise and use bullet points where possible.  Avoid copy and pasting from the job description, and definitely, don’t use internal jargon. Start by introducing the company, going on to include an overview of how the role fits within the company, then bullet points listing the key duties followed by the required skills/experience/competencies of the ideal candidate. It goes without saying to proof read thoroughly for any errors.

Sell Sell Sell!

Essentially, a job advert serves to ‘sell’ your job to the right candidate. Why would someone choose to come and work for you over one of your competitors? Think about the benefits of the role and how you can grab the interest of the reader.  Does the tone of the advert really get across the culture of your company? What are you offering that’s different? Candidates love to know about the work environment.  By injecting some personality into your adverts, you’re more likely to attract applications from people who are a good fit for your team.

Call to Action

Make it easy for the candidate to understand how they can apply for the role. Be clear on how you want to receive applications (i.e. email a CV to …) and note any closing date. An extensive 10-page application form is likely to deter people, so consider if that’s really necessary.  We also find that by including a strong closing statement such as ‘don’t miss out, apply today’ can also help boost applications.

 

 

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