Monthly Archives: September 2016

Six tips to networking your way to a new job

Five tips to networking your way to a new job

Last year I moved to Bristol and threw myself into networking as I didn’t know anyone.  I’ve found that networking is a great way to meet new people, help you land your next fantastic role or build your business.  I’ve met such an amazing group of people over the last nine months. And I’d never had done so if I hadn’t launched myself into networking.

I certainly didn’t always get it right at the beginning. But I’ve found that everyone is so helpful that it doesn’t matter at all if you mess up your elevator pitch. Neither is it a problem if you forget your business cards – because everyone remembers their first time networking so will support you. The main thing I’ve found is that it’s best to simply get out there and give it a go!

Here are some tips that you may find helpful if you’ve wanted to land yourself a new job through networking but don’t know where to begin.

1.       Practice your elevator pitch

Before May last year I had never written a sixty-second pitch.  However, after six months in Entrepreneurial Spark (the world’s largest business accelerator programme) I now understand how powerful sixty seconds can be.  I now say mine about four times a week at different events.  I tweak the message depending on the audience and tailor my ‘ask’ to suit what I currently need.  The more specific you can be the better as it does help the audience to help you.

So, if you know the company that you want to work for then ask for an introduction to it in your ask. You never know who’s in the audience or who someone in the room knows outside the room.

2.      Get there early

Luckily, I am an early riser. So if an event has a 7.30am  start you won’t be surprised to know I’m there for 7 a.m.  By getting there early I can chat to people as they arrive. And that’s far less daunting than walking into a room of thirty people and trying to join established conversations. Frankly that’s quite terrifying for even the most confident person!

Early arrival gives me the added benefit of an extra thirty minutes of networking. It even creates opportunities for introducing people to each other as they arrive – something they are often grateful for if they’re new to networking.

3.       First impressions count

You only have a few seconds to make that first impression so get it right!


  • Make eye contact
  • Smile – people will then approach you!
  • Dress smartly
  • Have an open and confident body language pose
  • Give a firm handshake
  • Welcome people into your conversation

4.     Be prepared

You may read the following and think “those are obvious” but you’ll be surprised at how many don’t get it right.

  • Know where you are going and what time the event starts
  • Check train times, congestion charges and where you can park
  • Have a strategy of what you would like to get out of networking. I.e. grow your network and find a new job.
  • Take plenty of business cards and copies of your CV

5.      Follow up

Connect on LinkedIn with people that you met as soon as possible. Mention the event at which you met them so they remember you. Suggest meeting for a coffee.

6. Plan a long term relationship

It’s not likely that you’ll land your dream job after your first networking event. You’ll need to show commitment and energy to grow some fantastic long-term relationships.  Ask them how you can help them – you never know you may just be able to introduce them to the person they want to meet.

I’m still at the beginning of my networking journey.  I’d love to hear from you about your stories and what you find helpful with networking.

I just gave you 6 tips on how to network your way to a new job, it would be good to hear which one stood out to you the most and why. Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Good luck with your networking and most of all enjoy it.



Caroline Arnold 

Executive Coach

T: @carnoldcoaching

F: Caroline Arnold Coaching


How To Deal With Boss From Hell

We all know the saying – that people leave their boss rather than the company.

In fact a staggering 50% of people that leave their employment do so because of their boss.

I clearly remember my first boss. I must have been fifteen and I was so excited to be working in a hotel.

I survived two weeks. He was a bully. Completely charming to everyone else but a bully to me.

Luckily I was able to leave and soon got another job waitressing in a restaurant and, in the end,I had a great summer in that job.

As adults though it isn’t so easy to leave a job.  You may have financial commitments or worry about how it will look on your CV if you move after only six months in a role.

So, what do you do if you find yourself with the boss from hell? Or simply one that doesn’t inspire you!

1. Personal circumstances


It might be that they’re having a difficult time for personal reasons having an adverse effect on them.

So before you decide your boss is a miserable old so-and-so and act accordingly how about suggesting lunch or a post work drink?

They may not open up to you but the gesture will be appreciated. And an opportunity to converse away from the work environment will do you both good.

2. Communication 

Does your company support psychometric profiling such as DISC or Myers Briggs?

If so then suggest as a team that you all complete it.  As a result you’ll be able to understand each other’s strengths and be more effective as a team. This will allow you to get to know your boss better and there may be suggestions in the report on how to best communicate with your boss.

If your company doesn’t offer profiling then sit down with your boss and ask them how they would like you to communicate with them.

If they’re the type of boss that likes to micro manage then a suggestion from you that you copy them in on all communications will smooth the path no end.

Alternatively you might suggest a weekly, pre-arranged update.

3. Practical steps 

If you reach the point where you feel that you’ve tried everything to bring about a better working relationship with your boss but they aren’t reciprocating consider these possibilities:

  1. Working from home one day a week. this will allow you some space.
  2. See if you can move to a different team, project or secondment with a different boss. Any of these would give you some breathing space without having to leave the company altogether.

Ultimately think about what effect this boss is having on you and your career.

If you think they may damage your career then consider leaving the company.  But make sure you take the time to choose the right boss next time so you aren’t in the same situation again!

If you jump from the frying pan into the fire you’ll be no better of and will have wasted a lot of time and effort.

4. Learn from this

Take all the lessons that you can from this experience.  Hopefully you won’t get get an awful boss again. But moreover when you’re a boss yourself, you’ll have awareness of the perils and pitfalls to avoid!

How To Be More Positive When You Feel Like Rubbish

Next Tuesday, 13th September, is Positive Thinking Day. I’ll be on holiday in France practicing my awful French.

When I was six I attended, for a few months, a French school where only French was spoken so so I really should be better than I am.  But then I went to school in America and learning French when you’re six doesn’t seem so important.

But to return to positive thinking.

When I’m on holiday it’s very easy to be positive. How can it not be? I’m benefitting from sleeping in, tucking into pain au chocolat for breakfast (conveniently forgetting I eat a gluten-free diet as a rule), having walks on the beach and spending quality time with my partner and my family. What’s not to be positive about?

But always thinking positively is much harder. I’m a naturally positive person but even for me the real world can present a positivity challenge at times. And that’s one thing I’m positive about!

It doesn’t always take much to destroy a day where you started out in a positive frame of mind. It only needs a cancelled train or a train so full that you have to stand for the entire journey. And pay for the privilege.

Or perhaps you didn’t get the promotion you hoped for or the offer on your dream house was rejected.

I do truly believe in the saying that everything happens for a reason -but at the time it’s sometimes hard to see why.

So how can you bring more positivity into your life? The tips that follow are a great place to start:

1. Achievements list

Every Friday afternoon get into the habit of taking five minutes to write down all of your achievements – both at work and in your personal life.

Maybe you delivered a great presentation at work or implemented a new system? Put it on the list. It could be that you tried a new bar with friends and managed to get to the gym twice in a week.? Put that on the list too.

Write down at least 10 things but aim for 20. I tackle the task by going through my diary to see what meetings I’ve had and what I got from them.

2. Gratitude

With your achievements list done spend another two minutes writing at least 20 things in your life to be grateful for.

It could be something as seemingly insignificant as a sunny day, lunch with colleagues or a painting done by your kids.

If you initially struggle try thinking of things you would miss if they weren’t in your life.

3. Affirmations

I have started to have a positive affirmation go off as a silent alarm on my phone three times a day so I am constantly reminded of what I am achieving and what I am working towards.

You may want to try this and you could use what follows below but choose what resonates for you.

I am grateful for this day

I love and enjoy what I do

I am healthy and happy

I am proud of my achievements

4. Surround yourself with positive people

Try, if you can, to spend more time with positive people and those who have a similar upbeat frame of mind.

Is your best friend the most positive person you know?  If so then send her a message and see if she wants to do spontaneous drinks tonight or go to a comedy show.

Buy a new book on amazon that is uplifting.

Try a new gym class or watch Great British Bake Off and be inspired to take a cake into work for everyone to enjoy.

5. Negative drainers

Do you have people in your life that suck the energy out of you even on your most positive day?

We all probably have someone that we can think of. A colleague perhaps, a friend or someone on a Facebook group you belong to that always sees the worst.

If it’s a colleague then this can be trickier to avoid. But can you work from home one day a week so that you don’t have to interact with them quite so much?

If it’s a friend  – well – if you consistently come away from time with them feeling dragged down you might want to question the friendship.  Should you feel you do still want the person in your life then look for ways to manage that so you’re not spending excessive amounts of time with them.  So if dinner is on the menu – agree but leave at 9pm. An early morning meeting the next day is a useful ‘get out of jail free’ card.

If you have anyone on your social media that’s regularly negative then consider if you can stop following them or remove yourself from that group. Then find a group that’s more positive and supportive of you.

I recently did a massive clean up on the Facebook groups that I belong to and now commit to commenting and supporting on 4 Facebook groups as the others weren’t right for my anymore.


Did you miss out on joining my FREE Beta Group? Don’t worry there is still time to join us!

If you are serious about taking your career to the next level then read my LinkedIn post for further information about the course. I am offering you the opportunity to join before the course goes live on the 21st for an early bird price of £49.00 but you must book before the 19th. This gives you lifetime access to the course “Get Confident and Accelerate Your Career”. Once the course goes live it will be £249.00 to join. Please message me  if you would like to “Get Confident and Accelerate Your Career”.

CAPS 011: Equal Pay, Maternity Leave & Shared Parental Leave – What Are The Challenges Women Face with Michelle Gyimah

Podcast Notes

Hi, and welcome to The Caroline Arnold Podcast Show.

Today, we have Michelle Gyimah from Equality Pays with us.  Michelle is a gender equality consultant and will be talking about what is the biggest challenge around equal pay in companies and what to do if you feel there is an issue with yours. We will then be discussing maternity and in particular focusing on shared parental leave.

So, lets get rights into the interview. Michelle, thank you so much for joining us today.

Questions asked during the podcast show:

What has been your career journey so far?

What do you do now?

What is shared parental leave?

In your experience, what is the level of takeup?

What aren’t men taking this opportunity up?

Is there a stigma for men taking shared parental leave?

Do you find that women are wishing for the full twelve months off themselves?

What do you find is the biggest challenge around equal pay in companies?

Where else do you recommend women to go for more information if they think there is an issues with their pay? Go to Equally Commission.

What do you find are the biggest challenges for women returning from maternity leave and how can companies and women help each other?

What book do you recommend for listeners to read – The Big Leap

Where can people go to find more information about your company? For more information about Michelle Gyimah please do visit her website here.

How To Get Rid of Procrastination Forever

Hands up!  Who’s got a ‘to do’ list that they never ever get round to completing?

Or, did you set yourself a load of resolutions to do before the end of the year, didn’t start them in January but are telling yourself you definitely will action them now?

There’s name for this and it’s procrastination.

Next Tuesday, the 6th September, is Procrastination Day. And if there’s one thing that I have to constantly work on it’s my tendency to procrastinate.

I used to think of myself as a perfectionist. But, when I started being honest with myself, I realized that in actual fact I was doing nothing other than procrastinating.

And I was so good at it!

My new favourite mantra is from the amazing Marie Forleo. I repeat it to myself on a regular basis and it’s: #progressnotperfection

So, spend a minute thinking about this:

If there’s one thing that you’re procrastinating on – where might you be if you stopped procrastinating over it and took some action.

Why do we procrastinate?

This common behaviour often stems from fear of the unknown. Or we may fear what we perceive as the embarrassment of failure, other people’s opinions and have doubt as to our own abilities.

We shall overcome!

So if most of us procrastinate how do we overcome it?

I read an article recently, which suggested something rather interesting. As a general rule men will submit a piece of work when it’s 85% complete whereas women  will only submit when it’s 100% finished.


The upshot being that women tend to be less productive.

While a woman is perfecting a piece of work a man will have moved on to the next thing on his list while waiting for feedback on what he’s done so far.

And the chances are that the ‘not-quite-perfect’ piece of work gets accepted as it is. Praise is given and the submitter moves on to the next task in hand.

Here’s a few suggestions to help you tackle the procrastination pest!

1. Brain Dump

Take 10 minutes to write down everything that you want to achieve at work and at home in the next one to two months. Then break these down into 3 to 5 steps depending on is the size of the task and diarise when you’e going to take action on each point.

2. Eat That Frog

If you haven’t read this book then I recommend it! In simple terms the book talks about doing the thing that you don’t want to do first every day. That way you aren’t spending energy thinking or worrying about it.

Having got the unpleasant task/tasks out of the way you’ll then be free to do the things you enjoy doing.

3. Accountability 

Get an accountability partner in what ever format works best for you but just get one!

This may be a coach, being part of a mastermind group or getting your best friend to come running with you.

You’re more likely to take action and achieve your goals if you know someone is going to ask you how you’re getting on.

I’m part of a mastermind group – we meet via Zoom every Tuesday evening.

Without doubt I’m at my most productive on Tuesday afternoon. This is because I don’t want to be the person on the call that says they  haven’t achieved what they said they would.


Earlier I asked you to take a minute to think about if there’s one thing that you’re procrastinating on – where might you be if you stopped procrastinating over it and took some action.
What ever it was that you came up with just take action NOW!