How to improve your skills and become a better software developer

Demonstrating a commitment to personal development is important in any sector – but for software development, it is vital. With the modern marketplace defined by innovation and change, being able to demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning and improvement is essential for those that are new to the sector and long-time professionals alike.

So, here are some simple ways to build your knowledge and demonstrate it to future employers or bolster your recruitment power.

Building your portfolio

One of the greatest assets to a professional developer is a strong, diverse portfolio that shows a commitment to tackling contemporary, industry-specific problems. Knowing which projects to add to your portfolio is down to you, but they should always be relevant to the role you currently possess and want to acquire in future. Do not be afraid to show where you ‘fell down’ on a project or made mistakes, as demonstrating the ability to learn from previous errors is a valuable skill.

While this work can be presented through a range of online repositories, your efforts should find a home on a straightforward personal website. Being able to show your approach to problem-solving can also be attractive to employers and linking your portfolio contents to social media posts or blog articles is a great way to publicise your skillset.

Taking advantage of online resources and tutorials

The rise of the internet and open-source development has made it easier than ever to build your skills in a way that works for you. For those starting out, free sites like https://www.codecademy.com and https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/computer-programming are helpful for refreshing your fundamentals or building awareness of development sectors adjacent to your own.

If you are confident in your base knowledge, sites like https://www.coursera.org https://www.udemy.com carry specialised training delivered by industry professionals. This includes end-to-end training in everything from full stack development, HTML and CSS, to Agile and Scrum practice – helping you round out your CV and add another string to your bow.

For those looking to develop their skill set in a formally recognised way, obtaining accreditations such as a https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/learning/mta-certification.aspx can help shape your career path and increase your earning potential. Or, if you are fully qualified and want to specifically expand your knowledge, sites like https://www.lynda.com/ have over 1000 distinct software development courses that can be taken at your own pace, with most culminating in a practical project that can be added to your portfolio.

Seeking out and delivering critique

No matter your chosen profession, it is impossible to improve your skills without putting your work in front of others and receiving critical feedback. If you plan to present exemplar work to potential employers always ensure that it has been posted to sites like https://github.com/ first or peer-reviewed with specific notes. Additional advice can also be sought from social sites like https://www.reddit.com which has many pages dedicated to code critique, CV review, and interview practice.

Additionally, demonstrating an ability to deliver helpful critique to others is a highly valuable skill. Opening accounts on these sites and delivering succinct, salient notes to others can be attractive to employers and act as a teaching aid to help you firmly understand a topic or issue.

Displaying your capacity for delivery

A major pitfall facing developers new to the sector is a lack of experience working as part of a team and incorporating client and testing notes to your projects. Being able to quantify these ‘soft skills’ can be difficult for some professionals, either because of the nature of their role or a lack of opportunities to hone their collaborative practice.

A quick and effective way to build these skills is by undertaking a game or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_jam with other attendees. These cram the full development cycle of a project – from initial concept to final delivery – into a timeframe of a few days. While these can be stressful, jams are often a fantastic opportunity to access a huge amount of learning in a very restricted period. Once complete, your team’s project can then be brought into your portfolio and the individuals you worked with added to your list of professional contacts.

When you are ready to leverage this experience, we at Time Recruitment recruit extensively for https://time-recruitment.com/jobs-by-industry/software development positions and have comprehensive experience in working alongside professionals to help find the role that’s right for you.

To learn more, you can contact a member of our recruitment team and let us know the sector you’re keen to progress in. Or, if you have any questions or queries about the services we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us at https://time-recruitment.com/contact-us/  and let us know exactly what you need.

How to improve your skills to land your dream engineering career

Recruitment for engineering jobs is done with meticulous care these days, mostly because of the large number of engineers out there and the limited number of niche positions available. If you are in the market for a new job, particularly in the fields of industrial, electrical or mechanical engineering, you’ve come to the right place. Time Recruitment specialises in recruiting for engineering roles. But before you get started with the application process, you will need to learn a few tricks of the trade and improve your skills to ensure that you stand out as a better candidate when compared to the multitude of other applicants.

Luckily, there are both soft and hard skills that you can learn to improve your chances of landing your dream engineering career. Below are just a few skills to consider and try to implement in your job-hunting efforts.

1. Seek out courses and seminars to help you learn and develop the soft skills that are demanded of engineers in the workplace

These include clear and concise communication, creativity, ability to adapt, teamwork and collaboration, and leadership. Many free courses are available online and via free and paid-for reading apps downloadable from your smartphone. Make a note of all the self-study courses you have completed on your CV too. This shows initiative and dedication.

2. Bite the bullet and get some free experience

Being highly educated in theory is not quite the same as having practical experience. While you are studying, or while you are job hunting, find out if there are any engineering companies that will allow you to attend jobs and projects purely to gain experience and lend a helping hand. The more practical experience you have to show on your CV, the more valuable prospective employers will find you.

3. Choose your educational institution carefully

Learning hard skills for an engineering career is essential and as such, you need a good, solid foundation. Make sure that you investigate the various colleges to ensure that the engineering program is strong and respected in the industry. Hard industrial engineering and management skills often required by recruitment companies include mathematics (algebra, trigonometry, calculus), computer sciences (chemistry and physics), time management, mechanics, technical competency and the ability to work with a variety of leading engineering software programs.

4. Fine tune your resume

Whether you are looking for industrial, mechanical, or electrical engineering careers, it must be obvious from the very start of your resume. Make sure that any potential employer knows precisely what you have to bring to the table. Don’t clutter your resume with irrelevant information. The fact that you worked as a barman 20 years ago might not be useful to an engineering recruitment company.

It’s your soft skills that make you outshine the rest

While technical skills and qualifications are vitally important in engineering fields, recruitment experts know that it is an individual’s soft skills that make them shine. If you have the qualifications needed for a job, that will get you into the interview room, but what will land you the job is the following 5 top in-demand skills of engineers, which you should hone prior to employment and try show off in an interview.

1. Technical skills and a technical mindset

Recruiters want to know that you have the education, credentials, and the experience that the job demands. Make sure that you mention this from the start. Recruiters also want to see and know that you are interested in attending further technical training if required.

2. Good communication

Engineering roles are extremely information-heavy. As an engineer, you must be able to effectively handle multiple forms of communication including written and verbal, online and in-person, technical and non-technical forms.

3. Interpersonal skills

Engineering jobs require you to work well with others in the workplace. You must be able to show that you have a positive attitude and can interact with people in a friendly yet professional manner.

4. Problem-solving and critical thinking

In the engineering field, things can change and problems can crop up at any time. You must be able to show a recruitment company that you can identify, assess and analyse complicated problems effectively and make decisions quickly and confidently.

5. Enthusiasm and commitment

Engineering recruiters want to see that you want the job and you are motivated to make a success of your career in the field. With jobs in the industry in such high demand, it only stands to reason that someone who really wants it and will be dedicated to the business should get it.

Apply for the engineering career of your dreams with Time Recruitment

Looking for a career in the fields of industrial, electrical, or mechanical engineering? Time Recruitment specialises in engineering recruitment. Apply for the right position for you on our website or get in touch with our team today. https://time-recruitment.com/industrial-engineering/

What does a career in insurance entail?

If you’re thinking about a career within the insurance sector, our useful guide may help you decide on the type of role you would like and whether this job would be suitable for you. The insurance sector is absolutely vital for individuals and businesses, as it helps minimise the financial risks associated with most activities.

What is insurance?

Firstly, let’s look at a definition of insurance. You can consider insurances as a type of risk management. They offer individuals a number of protections, alongside protection for business organisations, too. The financial protection offered by insurance can help ensure that consumers and businesses don’t lose everything in the event of calamities, such as fire, car crashes, burglary, etc.

The entire insurance sector is based on the successful calculation of the risks involved for clients and the likelihood of needing to pay out on claims. Once these risks have been assessed, it’s possible to put a price on how much the cover should cost.

So, what do insurers do?

Consumers and business organisations are often legally obliged to take out insurances, such as motor insurance, building insurance for property owners and employers’ liability insurance for any company that takes on workers. Other insurances are voluntary. The one thing all insurances have in common is that they can reduce the financial risks that could occur in the event of claims. For example, an electrician working on a job in a private house would likely have tradesman insurance. This would provide cover for the electrician if the homeowner fell and broke a leg or did more serious damage due to cables being in the way. If this were to happen, it is possible the homeowner would put in an injury claim for damages against the electrician.

In the above example, an insurance company would assess the likelihood of the tradesman’s client suffering from an injury as a result of loose cabling in properties and other likely problems. The insurance premium charged would be a reflection of the potential risks.

There are more than 300,000 workers in the UK insurance sector and a variety of roles are available. The insurance sector is split into two sectors, these are general insurance and life cover. Life insurance cover relates to injury or early death and is often associated with savings and pensions. General insurances offer the protections needed for personal injuries, liabilities and properties.

Working in the insurance sector

The insurance sector is fairly buoyant but has had its ups and downs. Lloyds of London is a renowned global insurer and has been trading since 1686. One of the major attractions of the insurance sector is that it will always be in demand, as people will continually look for ways to minimise risks. It is a dynamic sector of industry and provides good career prospects and salaries. Regular employment reviews make it possible to move up to higher levels for employees that join in entry-level positions. It’s also possible to train while you earn in this sector, so having a degree is not always beneficial.

Top skills needed to work in the insurance sector

Working with insurance often means dealing with customers, and so this makes customer service skills and good communication skills essential for most people working in the sector. It’s already been noted that maths skills will be essential for some insurance roles, including actuary jobs which will require statistical and computer modelling input. Analytical skills are also important to many insurance jobs, such as risk assessors or client facing roles in which the right policies need to be sourced for individual clients.

Some of the careers you will find within insurance include:

Actuaries or analysts

Analysts are the financial experts that calculate the possibilities of events happening and the associated risks. They need to be extremely methodical and possess good research and maths skills.

Insurance sales team

The sales teams employed by insurers are responsible for signing up new customers. This is often carried out by online customer service teams nowadays.

Claims inspectors

Insurance claims inspector roles involve determining whether clients are making legitimate claims. There are many ways people will attempt to claim cash on insurances. For example, holidaymakers very often try to claim cash back on holiday insurances following hotel breaks, and it’s up to inspectors to find out whether these claims are genuine.

Insurance brokers

An insurance broker can act for a number of insurers and advises consumers and businesses about the most appropriate insurance for their needs.

Some of the other jobs within the insurance sector include insurance account manager, risk surveyor, and underwriter.

Getting a job in the insurance sector

Finding the job you want in the insurance sector will depend greatly on your qualifications. If you’re a graduate, you may find it easy to get onto one of the highly regarded graduate schemes offered by the big insurers. School leavers may be able to enter the profession in an apprentice role, which will offer plenty of opportunities to acquire NVQs and industry-specific qualifications.

The level of experience needed for insurance roles varies between different jobs. You will be expected to have excellent computer skills, however, and if you can evidence experience using different types of claims or underwriting software this will be very useful for most job roles. A high level of communication skills will also be needed for most jobs. Many of these skills will be tested during the interview process, so it’s important to prepare well before any job interview.

Time Recruitment are specialist recruiters within the insurance sector, we’re more than happy to talk to candidates and discuss the roles we have available (insert link https://time-recruitment.com/jobs-by-industry/industries-insurance/). If you’re a candidate looking for a role within the insurance sector or an employer wanting to discuss recruitment to ongoing vacancies, get in touch to learn more.

How to get a nursing job in 2019

Graduating from nursing school can be daunting enough, never mind trying to find a job afterwards. Even if you are already a nurse, the thought of a change of career can leave you with butterflies in your stomach. It is easy to stick with what you know, but why not spend 2019 doing new things and taking more risks, starting with looking for a new nursing job? Follow these simple rules and you’ll have a new role and new challenges in no time.

Career planning

The first step you should take before any other is to make a plan. This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to lose track of where your career is headed if you don’t set yourself some targets and work out a way to achieve them. Start by listing all the areas of nursing that interest you and organise them into preferential order so you can see which sectors you should look at first, then start researching. There is plenty of information online; look on websites like The Royal College of Nursing, NHS, private nursing companies, job hunting sites and recruitment agencies for information. After you’ve identified a few sectors you would like to work in, consider how you will get there. Can you apply straight away? Do you need further training or education? If you do need further training, what will this cost and will it fit into your lifestyle? Once you can answer all of these questions, it’s time to get the ball rolling.

Networking

Not many people like networking, but it’s a necessary evil if you want to progress in your nursing career. Networking is great for making contacts to get shadowing opportunities and to hear of new job roles first. It can also be a great way to speak to senior colleagues about their experience and perhaps even find a mentor. Ask colleagues if they are aware of any conferences or nursing events, join groups associated with your hospital, healthcare practice or business if available or even think about starting your own if they are not. The Royal College of Nursing also hold many events throughout the year, so look at their website to see if you can find any near you.

Education

An undergraduate degree may get you an entry level nursing position, but a masters will open a whole new world of opportunities. You should contact universities to see exactly what Advanced Nursing MSc courses will include, but generally there will be a few compulsory modules and various optional models that will allow you to look at a few areas of nursing in greater detail than you would at undergraduate level, possibly leading to a PhD which will secure even further opportunities and greater earning potential.

If you have completed further education or want to take a different path, ask your manager or mentor if there are any further training opportunities available in your current workplace. Sometimes employers won’t advertise these because, let’s face it, of the cost, but if you ask directly and are ambitious then further opportunities may open to you.

Shadowing

Shadowing is a great way to gain hands on experience and see if a role is right for you. If you are looking to move roles within the same business or hospital, speak to your manager or the person who deals with your training to arrange this. You should also visit the department you would like shadow in to speak to them and get your face known.

Shadowing may be more difficult to arrange if you want to move to a different company, healthcare practice or hospital. Ask your colleagues if they have any friends or acquaintances in the department you would like to move to and use these contacts wisely. If you have no contacts then get in touch by sending a formal letter requesting shadowing opportunities or work experience and follow this up with a phone call to the manager or the person in charge of hiring. Don’t bother emailing – emails are far too easy to ignore.

Join a reliable recruitment agency

Getting ahead in any job market is really about getting yourself out there and taking advantage of every opportunity offered to you. If you are struggling to do this on your own, it may be worth contacting a recruitment company. Time Recruitment is one of the best recruitment companies in the industry and have a massive range of private nursing jobs for you to choose from. They are a nationwide recruiter but offer a tailored, personal service that takes account of your individual skills and qualifications and offer roles based on these. We offer both temporary and permanent roles with a range of hours to fit around your life, so get in touch today for a new nursing job and a brighter, more interesting 2019.

How To Pursue A Career In Engineering in 2019

Ringing in the new year for many means new resolutions, new challenges and new opportunities. Heading into 2019 may be time for you to look towards the future, to a new profession or first job, to graduate opportunities or to further study, or even selecting your options as part of compulsory education.
If you’re thinking about taking steps to become an engineer in 2019, congratulations – it’s an exciting, fulfilling career, one which provides any number of opportunities to learn, develop and grow. Here at Time Recruitment, we specialise in placing people in exciting engineering roles across a huge range of industries. We hope that this post will give you food for thought about the best next steps in your journey towards a career in engineering.
Learn about different types of engineeringSome engineering roles are open to those with qualifications in general engineering, whilst others require subject matter expertise. Engineering is a broad term for a huge number of careers, and the chances are that at this stage you may not know much about them. Now is a great time to learn about what each involves. To get you started, the below broadly covers the most popular types of engineering role:

– Chemical engineering – designing and operating industrial chemical facilities, including in manufacturing and oil and gas
– Electronic or electrical engineering – relating to designing and manufacturing electrical components included in computer hardware and day to day products
– Mechanical engineering – concerned with the function of machines and mechanical equipment
– Materials and mineral engineering – studying and creating materials at an atomic level, for example in nuclear and aerospace functions
– Civil engineering – designing and constructing buildings and infrastructure, such as rail networks, water systems and roads
– Software engineering – designing systems and applications

Join networks

Professional engineering networks offer a wealth of opportunities, from training talks, forums, networking opportunities and updates on developments in the industry. Joining one can give you a unique insight into what it is like to pursue a career in engineering, and what day to day life as an Engineer might involve. Importantly, it gives you the opportunity to learn from people who have carved a path ahead of you.

Investigate opportunities to learn for free

Many companies offer insight days, work experience and bursary schemes, sponsoring long-term education for prospective employees. Filling your 2019 calendar with events and opportunities to learn is a great way to take positive steps towards your new career.

Engineers week runs in early 2019 from 2nd to 8th March, in Ireland, and in November elsewhere in the UK (2019 dates are yet to be announced); this initiative is particularly useful for those still in eduction, with many schools and colleges running exciting events. The Tomorrow’s Engineer website provides more information and is generally a great place for budding young engineers to find more information and read case studies and biographies.

International Women in Engineering Day will take place on 23 June 2019. The inwed.org.uk website includes information on events taking place to mark the occasion. In 2018 these included talks by female engineers at BAE Systems, a networking evening at BDP, various university open days for girls and women of all ages, an open day at BP, Gala dinners and much more.

Many more opportunities await, hosted by universities, industry bodies and engineering companies alike.

Plan your route

Many engineering careers require extensive undergraduate, and even postgraduate, study, requiring careful planning at an early stage. If you’re lucky enough to be reading this post early on in your education, now is a great time for you to plan which subjects to take to maximise your options. At GCSE level, achieving strong grades in maths and science and, if possible, in IT, are helpful. At A-Level, maths and physics are key to most engineering careers, whilst chemistry is also required for chemical engineering. Completing an engineering degree in your chosen field, and from a good university (see The Times Good University Guide 2019 for guidance) puts you in a great place.

Apprenticeships are a fantastic option for those who don’t want to pursue further eduction, or who may not be able to complete a degree for any number of reasons. Completing an apprenticeship means you can learn on the job, often whilst earning at the same time. Many companies are currently advertising for 2019 engineering apprenticeships, making now a great time for you to take first steps towards a career in engineering.

Looking to transfer to engineering from an existing career? It’s not too late. Many people have made successful transitions to engineering from other careers. Achieving additional qualifications is the best way to do this if possible. Although it might seem daunting, look for ways to lighten the burden of a career change; perhaps your existing employer is able to sponsor your qualification, or you may be able to secure a bursary elsewhere. Check out the profiles on the Tomorrow’s Engineers website, which includes those of career changers.

Once you have decided which area of engineering you would like to go into contact Time Recruitment and we can find you your perfect role.
https://time-recruitment.com/ 

How to achieve your career goals in 2019

2019 is now upon us and if you’re still not where you want to be in your career, it could be time to make a practical plan to make sure that this is your year.

It doesn’t matter what type of job you have or which career path you want to follow. Whether it’s in healthcare, engineering or construction, these steps will give you what you need to achieve career success and meet your goals in 2019.

1. Look back at 2018

What went well for you at work in 2018, and what didn’t go as well as you hoped? If you know what was a success for you this year, you can do more of it next year, and obviously, less of the things that really didn’t get you where you want to go.

Think about what you can learn even from the things that went wrong that you might be able to improve on next year.

2. Decide what you want

Really think about your career and where you are going with it. Do you still want the same things you did previously, or are you thinking of a complete career change for 2019?

Be honest with yourself. It might be pretty scary to admit that the career you once loved is no longer making you happy, but it’s better to acknowledge it and do something about it than spend the next 20 or 30 years in a job that makes you miserable.

You’ve only got one life. Why spend it in a job that makes you dread going to work every single day?

3. Set your goals

While it’s good to keep in mind what you want, you’re much more likely to meet your goals if you actually write them down.

Not only that, but if you have measurable goals, you can look back every month or every quarter and see how you are doing against the goals you set at the beginning of the year. You can also adjust your goals if anything changes if you look at them regularly.

Work out your main aim for your career for 2019 and look at where you can break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. For example, if you’re hoping to get a promotion, you could look at salary scales to see what sort of pay you can reasonably expect in that role. You could talk to someone who already does that job and ask for advice. You could talk to your manager about your current performance to see how close you are to the performance you’d need in your new job.

Think about the steps you can take to reach your new career goal and write them down. You’ll then have a proper plan and a way to achieve it.

4. Write down your ‘WHY’

Why do you want this job or this career change? What difference will that make to your life?

Picture your life with your new job and imagine how that will feel and what else you will have in your life from making that change? Is it more money, more free time, flexible working hours with the chance to be able to attend the kids’ concerts and daytime events? Or are you finally getting your dream job?

What tangible things will you get from having your new career? How much more money? What sort of lifestyle?

Keeping those things in mind is very motivating and can keep you going and working towards your end goal, even if it gets hard.

5. Research the job you want

The more you know, the more prepared you are in terms of making sure you have the experience and the skills you need, and the better you can prepare for your job hunt, and the recruitment process, including the interview.

And that means you’ll be far more confident in going forward than you would be if you simply ‘wing it’.

6. Put your best foot forward

Update your CV, your LinkedIn page, and, if it’s relevant to your job search, your portfolio. Ensure everything is cohesive and consistently tailored to your new career goals.

If you already have letter templates you’ve written from applying to previous jobs, it’s also a good idea to take a fresh look at them. Are they still relevant? Do you need to tweak them to fit your new goals?

7. Look at any new skills or qualifications you’ll need

While you might have the experience to take the next step in your career, the job you want may need a particular qualification – or a particular skill – you don’t have.

If you do your research early enough, you can ensure you have everything planned into your 2019 calendar for when to apply for courses and what the start dates are so you know that, even if you can’t make your big move in 2019, you’ll at least be sure you have every last piece in place ready for the year after.

If you get your planning and career goal setting done now and stick to what you’ve planned out, 2019 really could be the year you finally get where you want to go with your career.

5 reasons why you should pursue a career in construction

Do you enjoy working with your hands? Do you like to see the results of your labour? Are you looking for a stable career where you can earn good money? Do you dream of one day running your own company? Then working in the construction industry could be exactly what you are looking for.

 

Working in construction allows you to learn a variety of skills and to work in different places. It offers job stability and career progression. Construction work can be both rewarding and satisfying. Here are five reasons you should pursue a career in construction:

 

  1. It’s not a desk job

 

It can seem to a lot of people that there is no alternative but to be trapped in an office from 9 to 5 every day. Construction offers a fantastic career that allows you to avoid this fate. Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day might suit some people but for many of us, there couldn’t be anything worse. Recent studies have shown that sitting too long can drastically shorten your lifespan even if you work out regularly. It’s not just that sitting at a desk is bad for you it can also be incredibly boring. Working in construction there are many roles that allow you to work outside and be active all day doing something with tangible results. No need to go to the gym after work as you can get all the exercise you need on the job.

 

  1. Career stability and progression

 

The construction industry is constantly growing and as it does so, it needs to recruit even more workers. There is an increasing demand for construction workers so choosing to work in this industry can give you a job for life without being forced to change careers at an inconvenient time. These days many industries are worried about how increasing automation will affect employment. In construction, new technologies are actually creating more jobs, as people are needed to operate more sophisticated machines.

 

Construction offers great opportunity to progress and develop your career. Beginning in an entry-level position as a labourer you will have the chance to learn new skills and take on more advanced roles. Those with managerial ambitions will in time have the opportunity to run their own construction firms.

 

  1. Earn money quickly

 

If you start work in the construction industry as an apprentice you can begin work as soon as you finish high school. Whilst you are learning your trade you will earn a percentage of what a qualified worker earns, and that percentage will increase each year. You won’t make a full salary at first but you will be making an income while other people your age are completing their A-levels and earning nothing at all. Once you have completed your apprenticeship your take-home pay will increase by a large amount and will continue to grow year on year. By the time some people have completed university and got themselves into thousands of pounds of debt, you will have learnt a trade and have a well-paying career.

 

  1. Diversity of roles and opportunities

 

Building a home requires a wide range of different skills and trades. A firm building a new home will employ up to 30 different tradespeople to help them complete the task. Engineers, roofers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and many more are required for many construction projects. This means that as you progress through your career you can choose which parts of the process best suits your personal taste so that you can specialise in that particular area.

 

Not only are there a diverse number of roles you can do in the construction industry but there are also a lot of options about where you work. Construction projects take place all over the country and you have the chance to work wherever suits you best. Many of the roles require the same skills and knowledge everywhere in the world, so a career in construction can allow you to travel abroad while earning a living.

 

  1. Job satisfaction

 

For most people, their jobs entail doing a small part of a process where they never get to see the results of their contributions. Jobs like this can be extremely frustrating and dispiriting after a while. Working in construction, on the other hand, can be highly rewarding. Wiring a home and then testing all the switches seeing what your hard work and craft has achieved can be very satisfying. When you are part of building a home you get to see the physical impact your work has had on the landscape. Through your efforts, you have helped turn a piece of unused land into somewhere that people can live and raise a family. There are very few career paths that let you see, in concrete terms, something that you have helped build with your own hands.

How to stay productive over the Christmas period

Christmas is coming, and for many people it can be a time of great stress. Not only is there family and finances to consider over the festive season, work also becomes an issue. Christmas is often associated with a flurry of activity from people trying to get everything done before their holidays. This means an increased workload which, without proper management, can easily consume you.

 

Retaining productivity over the Christmas period, then, becomes of the utmost importance. There are many things you can do to help you achieve this. The following key steps are applicable to everyone – from recruitment professionals to job-seekers and workers in a variety of different industries.

 

<h2>Step 1 – organise your workload</h2>

 

Before you can do anything, you need to develop a list of the tasks you have and the goals you need to achieve over the Christmas period. This is particularly helpful for a number of different reasons. It gives you a clear and easily visible overview of your tasks. When everything is swirling around in your mind, it can seem like there are not enough hours in the day. Breaking things down will make everything much more accessible and manageable.

 

Once you have listed everything you know you need to get done, it’s time to prioritise your workload. But how do you do that? There will be things that are obviously important to get done soon, and others which may seem a little more open to debate. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to <a href=”https://blog.rescuetime.com/how-to-prioritize/”>prioritise your workload</a>.

 

<h2>Step 2 – Develop a timetable</h2>

 

With a hectic workload looming, it can be tempting to want to dive in head-first. But you should invest a little bit more time at the beginning to develop and write a timetable that you can follow over the Christmas period. This will allow you to stay on course, and you’ll always know what you have to do next. It may not seem like much, to begin with, but when you’re buried in your work you will appreciate that guidance.

 

It’s also important to note that there are genuine <a href=”https://www.shopify.com/content/6-psychological-benefits-of-writing-things-down”>benefits to writing things down</a>. The obvious one is that it helps you remember what you have to do next. But it will also help you think clearer and more logically. When you have a tangible view of your schedule, it becomes so much easier to manage.

 

<h2>Step 3 – Expect the unexpected</h2>

 

When you’re developing your timetable for the Christmas period, it’s important that you remember things will always crop up when you least expect them to. So you should engineer strategic gaps into your timetable and your list of work priorities to account for something coming up that you didn’t anticipate.

 

This isn’t something that’s easier said than done. When you’re developing your timetable, give yourself an extra hour spare every day – this should be ample time to deal with most things that will crop up. The temptation is to cram your schedule to get things done faster, but the reality is that this isn’t feasible if you’re planning ahead.

 

You never know what’s going to crop up – give yourself the time in advance so that you’re not in a rush when it does.

 

<h2>Step 4 – Give yourself a break</h2>

 

That temptation to cram as much work as possible into a short space of time can be strong, but it’s not healthy. There are many reasons why <a href=”http://www.workplacesafetyadvice.co.uk/importance-of-adequate-breaks.html”>work breaks are important</a>, so aside from your “just in case” time, you should be giving yourself breaks through your workday.

 

How often you’ll need a break will depend on a variety of factors including your age, health, and the nature of the work that you’re doing. But it’s of the utmost importance to remember that taking a reasonable break isn’t sacrificing your productivity. Quite the opposite, in fact; in many ways, it’s actually making you more productive, if you’re judging based on the quality of the end result.

 

If you’re tired, you’ll end up getting sloppy and the quality of your work will suffer. You’ll also risk suffering health and mental issues such as exhaustion, lethargy, and even developing depression. Ultimately, it’s not worth it. A strategic 15-minute break to empty your mind and recharge your batteries can make all the difference.

 

<h2>Keeping your head</h2>

 

If you follow these tips, you should find it much easier to manage your workload over the Christmas period. It can be difficult staying productive when you have so much to do, both at work and at home, so it’s important to give yourself every opportunity that you can.

 

Before you do anything, stop and take a step back. Positive thinking makes all the difference. Remember, you’re more than capable of staying productive – as long as you follow these steps.

Key skills all healthcare professionals need to possess

The healthcare industry today is made up of various professions that not only include classical fields such as medicine, nursing and pharmacy, but also relatively newer fields such as bionic prosthetics and medical imaging, and everything in between. Healthcare professionals working in these varied fields often meet those working in other specialised fields and unfamiliar professional contexts. For example, a staff nurse at a busy emergency ward works as part of a multi-speciality team and must routinely liaise with nurses, doctors and others within the context of her professional practice. However, the staff nurse may also have to deal with other professionals, such as paramedics, police, lawyers and patients’ family on a regular basis. The skills required to cope in such a work environment are expected of all healthcare professionals in varying degrees. Therefore, besides honing the skills required to perform the tasks within their own professional contexts, healthcare professionals need to possess the following set of skills to help them survive and excel in the healthcare industry.

 

DEVELOP A PLAN FOR ONGOING CONTINUOUS EDUCATION

Healthcare professionals face a constant need to keep themselves informed about the current advances in their respective fields. Without either the willingness or a plan to engage in ongoing continuous education, it is hard to survive in a competitive healthcare industry. Lucrative and challenging opportunities in the workplace are offered to those who demonstrate a habit of educating themselves according to the evolving demands of their respective fields. From the perspective of seeking successful recruitment as a healthcare professional, it is vital to show evidence of a plan to undertake continuous education in one’s own field.

 

IMPROVE AND BUILD ON INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

Interpersonal skills play a key role in the functioning of healthcare professionals. These skills include verbal and non-verbal communication, listening and reporting, oral or computer-aided presentation, heightened confidentiality, and other such soft skills. In most situations, healthcare professionals will need to exercise these skills not only in the context of a patient or a client, but among their colleagues who may or may not be associated with the same professional context. Effective interpersonal skills are highly valued when healthcare professionals happen to be the first point of contact in a medical setting or as the face of a firm in a corporate setting.

 

ALWAYS GIVE ATTENTION TO DETAIL

In the healthcare industry, roles and responsibilities are a part of a web of tasks within a bigger process. There, professionals work under the impression that the quality and precision of work handed to them is of the highest standards even as they strive to meet the highest standards themselves. A small error at any point will compromise the efforts and resources spent on the bigger process by all others involved. Furthermore, given the nature of the industry, consequences may be life-altering and incur heavy financial losses. Therefore, healthcare professionals must always give due attention to every detail.

 

BUILD AN ATTITUDE OF SHOWING EMPATHY

The healthcare industry functions in such domains where notions of investigation, examination, suspicion, and ambiguity are the norm of particular contexts of healthcare practice. As a natural consequence, there will be grievances, complaints, distrust, pain, agitation, apathy and confusion among the various parties involved. The calm and composed demeanour of healthcare professionals is the expected response to act as a buffer in such situations. This response is achieved by developing an attitude of empathy towards patients, colleagues, or clients. It is also helpful to develop a skilful response of empathy to make informed decisions when working under stress and pressure to meet targets. A calm, considerate and empathetic approach to problem-solving is valued as an efficient professional approach in high-risk situations rather than a rigid adherence to formal procedures and general protocol.

 

DEMONSTRATE FLEXIBILITY IN ACCEPTING AND DELEGATING TASKS

In most healthcare professions, there is a professional culture of working as teams or groups. Overall success and/or performance is measured and valued at the level of both the individual and their respective team. A demonstrable level of flexibility in sharing tasks among the individual members of a team is reflective of the team’s performance and vice versa. Flexibility could also be demonstrated by a willingness to accept extra roles and/or responsibilities during crucial periods at a firm or team.

 

FACILITATE AND MODEL AN ORGANIC WORK ETHIC

Transparent and unhindered flow of information is the driving force of any team functioning at their highest professional standards. Making an intentional effort to maintain effective communication among their relevant professional links is extremely important for a healthcare professional. A healthcare professional must view their team or company as an organism that always requires constant information-sharing among its organs. Effective communication skills and an understanding of confidentiality will improve an organic work ethic among healthcare professionals.

Employers, Are You Winning the STEM Race?

If you recruit staff in any of the STEM-related sectors – science, technology, engineering and maths – then you probably already know how increasingly tough that is. Not least because so many commercial and industrial organisations are embracing the technological revolution and joining the search for people with these key skill sets.

This can leave many recruitment campaigns falling short of enough candidates to interview, even before you pinpoint the applicant who fits the job spec perfectly! The situation is further exacerbated if you’re a relatively small company. In the race to recruit staff with STEM capabilities, the winners tend to be the organisations with the deepest pockets.

However, that is not always the case. There are things you can do as an organisation to close the STEM gap and attract candidates with the right experience and acumen.

 

Mind the gap

First, let’s look at the problem in more detail, for more background to some of the decisive actions you can use as solutions.

You will no doubt have seen headlines about the global shortfall in STEM skills. The talent pool needed to take full advantage of improved connectivity, automation, AI and data science is not well enough stocked.

The global figures for hard to fill vacancies make for sober reading. So it’s not surprising that the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) feels the UK’s skill shortages are at “critical levels”. (source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/01/10/skills-shortages-critical-levels-risking-uk-growth-research/)

You may also be aware of the campaigns and projects launched to address this serious skills gap, including a drive to attract more women into engineering and technology careers.

Is it working? There are reports that suggest current measures are not going to solve the problem any time soon! In fact, the number of adults in training or education has actually fallen to the lowest levels on record. (source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/08/23/skills-crisis-number-adults-training-falls-record-low/)

According to Department of Education figures, only 37% of people in the UK undertook training of some form over the last three years. When you compare this with the peak in 2001 – 46% of adults in skills training – it shows the numbers are going in the wrong direction.

 

Recruitment is not always salary-focused

One of the most important things employers must recognise when trying to attract candidates with STEM proficiency and experience is that wages are not everything. People are motivated by more than just money, and developing a career path that takes account of that is vital.

Among the things applicants look for is how ambitious you are as a company. If you can demonstrate that they will be part of a forward-looking team, and that their contribution is a key element of a robust business plan, it all helps! Recruitment of STEM candidates as a knee-jerk reaction, with a muddled job spec or unclear career path, is liable to reap poor results.

Also, an employer with a culture that enables staff to bring their “whole self to work” is potentially going to receive more applications from the right calibre of candidate. This could include flexible working practices, empathy for family commitments and offering good health and welfare support in the workplace, for example.

 

Equality and diversity

Job satisfaction is more assured if you can demonstrate that you are a diverse and inclusive employer. This is a really important point, and not simply in terms of making your workplace attractive to STEM applicants. It is also about your attitude as an employer.

Sometimes, your STEM recruitment policies need to be fluid and responsive, rather than being run along fixed perimeters. For example, you may need to look for someone who has creativity, ideas and a passion for technology, rather than someone with academic prowess or a long list of previous employers.

Inclusivity needs to factor in more than the usual race, age, gender, religious and disability issues. The best fit for the role may be someone who didn’t look good on paper, for example!

 

Plan ahead

As there is such a serious shortfall in STEM applicants – and a growing number of companies hungry for these skills – you need to look further ahead as a company. Your recruitment policies may need to be focused more on where you are going as an organisation, rather than your current business needs.

That way, you can constantly be seeking candidates with STEM relevancy, ready to “grab” them and put clear career paths in place. If you are in the engineering sector, in particular, you may need to think in terms of more young applicants that you can train up. Apprenticeships in STEM-related areas are undoubtedly a key way to develop the workforce of the future.

 

Get help!

As attracting enough STEM candidates does now involve a “hard sell” in recruitment terms, it makes sense to bring in expertise.

Time Recruitment invests heavily in creating a fertile talent pool, but also in matching potential staff and employers in an intuitive way. This avoids time wasted and gets jobs filled – including STEM-related posts – as quickly and effectively as possible.

Balancing a Full Time Job with Looking After Your Mental Health

Every year, one in four adults in the UK will suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition, most commonly depression or anxiety. Although not a cause of mental ill health per se, stress and a poor work-life balance place individuals at greater risk and can exacerbate any difficulties that someone is already experiencing. Workers in emotionally taxing professions such as healthcare, or those who work variable and unsociable shift patterns, are especially likely to be diagnosed with poor mental health. So, if you have a full-time job and are trying to balance your work with a family, social life, and all the other demands of modern living, what can you do to help safeguard your mental health?

 

Stress

Stress is a leading contributor to poor mental health. Far from being “all in the mind”, stress is a very real physical condition. When we experience stress, the body releases increased quantities of the hormone cortisol. In small amounts, and for short periods of time, cortisol can be beneficial. Human beings evolved on the plains of Africa, where cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones were beneficial in helping us run away from lions and other animals that would otherwise have had us for lunch. However, over long periods, high cortisol levels can lead to hypertension, heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, and anxiety. Stress is also a key risk factor for depression, psychosis, and schizophrenia.

Reading that last paragraph has probably been enough to increase your stress levels all by itself! So, what can you do to reduce the amount of stress in your life? Leading mental health charity, Mental Health First Aid England provide a free resource on their website called the “Stress Container.” This simple model can help you to identify the areas of your life – whether they’re related to work, money, family or elsewhere – which are causing you stress.

Once you’ve identified your stress factors, you can begin to plan how to deal with them. That could mean talking to your line manager about stressful issues at work, or perhaps having a conversation with your partner or family about how they can help you reduce stress at home.

 

Managing stress when it does happen

However hard we try to reduce the sources of stress in our lives, we are all going to experience stress from time to time. So, when you’re up against it in the office, or there’s just a lot going on in life, here are a few things you might like to try to help manage your stress.

 

Exercise

Science is increasingly showing us that exercise is a fantastic tool for managing stress and improving your mental health. Physical and mental health are connected, so eating well and taking regular exercise are very helpful in improving mood and lowering stress. If you can find something that you enjoy, and you can do it regularly, then make the time for it.

 

Take some “me time”

When we’re busy at work, it can be tempting to work that little bit of overtime, skimp on lunchtimes and breaks, and generally work harder to get the job done. The reality is, there’s nothing worse for your mental health than not taking any time for yourself. Make sure that, every single day, you set aside time to do something you enjoy, and that will make you feel good. This doesn’t have to be anything complicated or expensive – curling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and a good book is perfect. Positive emotions, though, help to build a buffer against stress, so take some time to create those happy moments.

 

Learn something new

Many people find great satisfaction in learning a new skill or hobby. Maybe you’ve always wanted to play the guitar, take up painting, or learn a new language? Take a look around and see what opportunities are available near you. Most further education colleges offer community classes, many of which are free.

 

Share how you’re feeling

It’s OK to ask for help and support. Everyone has up days and down days, and it really is true that talking a problem through with a friend, colleague, or loved one can help.

 

Be organised enough to switch off

When you’re not at work, you’re not at work. At the end of your shift or working day, take five minutes to reply to any emails, tidy your desk or locker, and put away your equipment. Then, when you walk out of the door, switch off. Turn off your phone, stop checking your emails, and get your mind out of “work mode” and ready to relax. After all, you’ve been working hard all day, and you’re not paid to spend your evenings and weekends working too.
Following these tips will be enough for many people to begin to address the sources of stress in their lives. However, if you’re struggling and want to talk, there’s help out there for you. You can call Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123, or email [email protected], contact your GP, call NHS 111 for advice or, in an emergency, visit your local A&E department and ask to speak to the Mental Health Crisis Team.

Succession Planning and Flexibility: Vital for Management

Now more than ever before, both employers and management job seekers need to think ahead.

Economic pressures are crushing more big name brands every week. And some of the longest established UK organisations are being left behind in the race to seize the coat tails of technological advancement. New levels of data science, automation and connectivity are exciting beyond words, but failure to keep pace with the changes demanded can be fatal!

The construction trade is a perfect illustration of this. There is massive demand for new housing in the UK and relative buoyancy in other sectors. Yet, in the third quarter of 2018 the number of UK companies going under in this sector increased by almost 80% when compared to the same period in 2017.

(https://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/construction-company-failures-continue-to-soar)

 

The reasons for this are complex

However, the one thing no organisation can currently afford is to have key posts left unfilled for long periods. The window of opportunity to seek and appoint a suitable candidate for decision making and leadership roles is now smaller than ever!

In fact, the battle to juggle profitability and harness change means losing one of the management team even for short periods can have a serious knock-on effect. Also, handover periods can be unsettling and distracting.

Apart from handcuffing executives with long notice periods (which can be off-putting for suitable applicants), what else can organisations do, to survive management churn?

And what are the implications for applicants for executive positions?

 

Well orchestrated recruitment and retention

 

Succession planning is something many organisations do in a piecemeal fashion. In fact, it should be a central part of business strategies.

How can your organisation be sure of a structured and sustained management profile, over the coming years?

This involves having a great deal of transparency and control over current job specs and talent mapping what you already have available. It also means constantly planning ahead, tying recruitment campaigns to the positions you may need to fill, rather than solely focusing on current needs.

Who is set to retire? Who can double up on responsibilities when a key post becomes vacant unexpectedly?

Putting a clear succession plan in place also needs to include setting up systems to act more speedily and decisively when sudden departures occur. For example, having a recruitment agency on hand who knows your business (and its plans) well enough to be extremely responsive.

 

Fostering loyalty

 

One of the most important ways to underpin succession planning, is to protect and nurture your management “assets”.

This includes having clear career paths for junior and new managers; and equipping them with the training and support needed to reach their full potential.

The funding for management and leadership development is contracting. This may become more noticeable during the Brexit phase, as EU funding streams dry up.

Yet the need to constantly upskill supervisors and middle management has never been more important, not least to stop them looking elsewhere for the next rung in their career ladder.

 

Changes to recruitment practices

 

Another solution is to create a more fluid and flexible recruitment culture, as part of your organisation’s determination to create a healthier succession profile.

So for example, you may have a management post that ideally should involve a permanent contract. However, are there ways to use temporary or interim recruits to avoid leaving significant gaps in the team?

The benefits of this can outweigh the concerns that it’s not a permanent fix. Using more temporary contracts offers the opportunity to recruit key skills and experience you need for the “now”. Then, as your business changes and grows, you can vary the attributes you are seeking from your recruitment campaigns.

If you are facing change, opportunity or even a financial crisis, getting temporary staff with important skills on board only works if you have access to the right calibre of candidate of course. This too can mean having access to a recruitment agency that knows your business well. And one that you have sufficient faith in, to match your temporary recruitment needs effectively and fast.

 

Applying for management roles?

 

From the applicants’ point of view, the new and increased emphasis on succession planning brings important considerations.

For one thing, you need to look for future employers who can show how you fit into long-term business plans. And how they intend to develop your role, including investing in your training.

You also have more opportunities to discuss temporary and interim contracts, leading to a more permanent post. This can provide you with opportunities to vary your experience and develop your cv, or at the very least “check out” an employer before agreeing to a long-term contract.

 

Harness recruitment to business planning

 

The ability to introduce effective talent mapping and succession planning relies on recruitment systems that are well planned and executed, and unfailingly successful.

To underpin your business plan with proactive and reactive recruitment measures, talk to the team at Time Recruitment.