Monthly Archives: October 2016

80 Ways To Fire Up Your Career

I’m currently lecturing at the University of West England (UWE) in Bristol. I’m teaching Year 2 students a module called “Managing People”.

This is something that I’ve always wanted to do and I’m thoroughly enjoying this new opportunity. Though it’s certainly challenging trying to keep twenty nineteen-year-old students motivated for 2 hours at 9am!

Although I’ve got a lot of theory to cover during these lectures I’m also taking the opportunity to share some career tips with them as they start to look for placements and/or graduate roles.

These career tips are relevant whether you’re nineteen and looking for your first job or you’ve been working for 20 yrs and looking for your first director role.

So here, in no particular order, are my 80 kick-ass life and career boosting tips:

1. Get a coach

2. Have a mentor

3. Be a mentor

4. Believe in yourself!

5. Ask for help

6. Be persistent

7. Say ‘yes’ to opportunities

8. Volunteer for projects

9. Be authentic

10. Create your own luck

11.  Create a brand

12. Use LinkedIn

13. Set up a Twitter account

14. Sign up for training

15. Accept public speaking opportunities

16. Set career goals

17. Set salary goals

18. Update your CV annually

19. Feel the fear and do it anyway!

20. Read. A lot!

21. Lead projects

22. Grab a secondment opportunity

23. Volunteer

24. Be self-aware

25. Use your holiday allowance

26. Get 8 hours’ sleep

27. Exercise

28. Eat well

29. Network

30. Be kind

31. Practice gratitude

32. Celebrate achievements – small and large

33. Learn a new skill

34. Listen to podcasts

35. Ask for a pay rise

36. Make mistakes

37. Admit mistakes

38. Ignore the nay-sayers

39. Create a vision board

40. Dress for success

41. Embrace your strengths

42. Accept your weaknesses

43. Be kind to people along the way

44. Cut the negative self-talk

45. Practice mindfulness

46. Remove any money blocks that you may have

47. Be tenacious

48. Reward yourself

49. Trust your gut

50. Know your worth

51. Step out of your comfort zone

52. Watch Ted Talks

53. Learn to say ‘no’ sometimes

54. Volunteer

55. Don’t sweat the small stuff

56. Recruit a team that’s more experienced than you

57. Make first impressions count

58. Have a firm handshake

59. Praise your team

60. Hang out with positive people

61. Minimise time with negative drainers

62. Ask your boss what their biggest problem is and get rid of it

63. Make your boss look good

64. Pick your battles

65. Connect with recruitment consultants

66. Take risks

67. Ask for feedback

68. Diversify your experience

69. Think about your next career move

70. Shadow a colleague

71. Avoid use of the word “just”

72. Join a mastermind group

73. Say ‘thank you’.

74. Speak up

75. Learn to negotiate

76. Don’t personalise

77. Embrace rejection

78. Be confident

79. Dare to be all that you can be

80. Follow your dreams!

So that’s 80 excellent tips to encourage you to accelerate your career and life in general. Have you got any different ones to bring the list up to 100?

If so share them with me – I’d love to hear from you.

Five Ways To Make A Good Impression In A New Job

There’s no escaping it. Starting a new job, no matter how much you’ve yearned for it, tends to be daunting.

There’s so much to think about and to learn:

  • Getting to grips with the names of your new colleagues
  • Learning your new boss’ preferred working methods
  • Your own desire to deliver on projects and make a good first impression.

So here’s a few tips to help you make that all-important positive first impression:


1.       Introductions

Before you get sucked into your email inbox and back-to-back meetings grab a box of Quality Street, walk around the office and introduce yourself to everyone.

Everyone loves chocolate and some of the team will be thrilled with the distraction and want to have a chat with you.

This is a great way to get yourself known. What’s more it will encourage your colleagues to start a conversation with you that goes beyond ‘hi’ when they next see you at the tea point.

You can then follow up by connecting with everyone on LinkedIn.  If nothing else that exercise will help you to remember their names!


2.       Be Proactive

Suggest to your team that you all go out for lunch so you can get to know one another beyond the office environment.

If you manage a team, then set up a meeting with each of them.

Ask them what they need from you and what management style they’d prefer.

Do the same with your boss. Go through the priorities with them and find out:

  • Their preferred method of communication
  • How much communication they want

3.       Ask Questions

Don’t make assumptions – ask everyone lots of questions. In the first week particularly.

Suggested questions:

What is the biggest obstacle facing the team right now?

What are the priorities that I should focus on?

How do you prefer to communicate – 1-2-1, email, phone?


4.       Read a book

Read ‘The First 90 Days: The First 90 Days

This is a must read book to start reading during your notice period of your old job. It’ll prepare you so that you are ready to go on day one in your new role.


5.       Look after yourself

When you start a new job it’s important to look after yourself so that you can be at your best during the day.

So, make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat well and have some down time planned,  things to look forward to – such as catching up with friends.

Good luck in your new job and if you have any tips on how to make a good first impression I would love to hear from you.