Career Advice Center

Latest Blog Posts

02-09-2014 10:49:39 in Careers by Harry Freedman
  There is a lot of talk in job hunting circles about transferable skills. They are skills that you can use as easily in one job as in another. The art of verbal communication is a transferable skill, it can be used in many jobs. Carpentry is a skill that on the face of it is not really transferable; there are a few jobs where it comes in handy but its primary value is if your work involves ...

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26-06-2014 11:27:12 in Careers by Harry Freedman
  An influential report by the Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science, argues that post-GCSE students should be taught more science and maths because too many people in the UK are "mathematically and scientifically illiterate". The proposal forms part of a report that calls for a major overhaul of the UK education system. Speaking on Radio 4 today, Dame Julia Higgins said that s...

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23-06-2014 12:30:58 in Careers by Harry Freedman
  A group of conservative MPs is proposing that recently retired workers, with skills in maths, English and science, retrain as teachers. Whilst the idea of bringing experienced, older people into the classroom certainly has its attractions, the proposal seems flawed to me, for a number of reasons. From the perspective of someone living on a pension that is probably inadequate, the opportun...

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29-04-2014 10:43:56 in Job Search by Harry Freedman
The government’s new benefit regime has just started. Under the scheme those on benefits who are long-term unemployed will be obliged to visit their job centre daily, undergo training or do voluntary work. The scheme has met fierce opposition from unions and charities who believe that it will not improve people’s chances of getting a job and does not address the underlying issues that ...

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14-03-2014 10:00:00 in Networking by Harry Freedman
You don’t have to use LinkedIn to advance your career, but it certainly helps. It helps even more if you can be clear about what specifically you want to use LinkedIn for, and what benefit it will be to you. There are three main levels at which LinkedIn impacts upon your career. At the most basic level, it is an online record of your career history. Beyond that, it is a way of discovering p...

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11-03-2014 12:21:03 in Career Planning by Harry Freedman
  Vince Cable was wrong to blame teachers for the poor careers advice that school pupils receive. Not because the careers advice is any better than he makes out; it isn’t. But he is wrong because it isn’t the fault of the teachers, it is the system itself which is to blame. School leavers, whether at sixteen or eighteen, know nothing at all about the world of work. Why should th...

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10-02-2014 10:07:20 in Job Search by Harry Freedman
I met a man recently who seemed to have exactly the right approach to his job search. He was out of work and was supremely confident that he would not get another job any time soon. But this did not seem to bother him a bit. Even though he enjoyed working he had no regrets about being unemployed right now. He had decided that he did not want to look for a job right now. Instead, he wanted to...

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28-01-2014 09:22:35 in Career Change by Harry Freedman
 This blog was first posted on Guardian Careers on January 15th 2014    For many people, the new year is a time to do something about your career. You may have renewed the resolution many times, and yet you're still in the same old job that you don't enjoy and aren't quite sure how you ever got into in the first place. So will this be the year you finally get round to looking for ...

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18-11-2013 09:59:39 in Networking by Harry Freedman
  A version of this blog was first published on Guardian Careers on 11th November 2013 Networking is more effective the more you do it; it shouldn't be something you only do in a crisis. Don't become the sort of networker who only contacts people when they are looking for a job – that's not the way to build lasting, successful relationships. Successful networking is an ongoing career ...

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10-11-2013 12:21:13 in Networking by Harry Freedman
A version of the blog was published in Guardian Careers on 22nd October 2013  As we noted in the last article, networking is about collecting information and getting the names of new people to talk to, not about asking someone for a job. The idea is that by talking to enough people and collecting enough information you will get to hear of career opportunities and how to go about pursuing the...

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10-11-2013 12:18:20 in Networking by Harry Freedman
 A Version of this blog was published in Guardian Careers on 18th September 2013   In the last blog we looked at how to create your networking contact list. We will soon start to decide how to approach your contacts and what to say to them. But before we do so, we need to be clear about the results that we are trying to get from our networking. Unless we know what we want, we won&rsquo...

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10-11-2013 12:15:41 in Networking by Harry Freedman
A version of this blog was first posted in Guardian Careers on 2nd September 2013 Like many  people you may dread the idea of networking, particularly if you are a little reserved socially. But networking is so important when you are changing job. You are more likely to get a new job through your contacts than in any other way, and if you are researching new career paths, or companies you mi...

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10-11-2013 12:11:23 in Networking by Harry Freedman
This blog was first posted on Guardian Careers on 6th August 2013  There is plenty of research which shows that the most likely way for you to get a job is through your contacts. Networking may not always be the most comfortable of job strategies, but it is far more effective than anything else, and it is worth concentrating most of your time on. The problem comes however when it feels as if...

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29-07-2013 11:33:59 in Career Planning by Harry Freedman
  Unemployment amongst young people remains unacceptably high. Latest figures show that nearly one million people between the ages of 18 and 24 are out of work, only a few less than in the previous month. The consequences of unemployment go far beyond the immediate impact on a young person’s life. It’s not just that they have no money, that their self esteem may be damaged and t...

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23-07-2013 11:41:31 in Networking by Harry Freedman
  With the public sector still shrinking, competition for jobs is getting tougher. If you are looking for a public sector job, you need to give yourself an edge. There are two parts to getting a job. The first part, the bit everybody does, is to fill in the application form. In theory, in the public sector this should be all there is to it. Public sector recruitment is supposed to be transp...

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20-06-2013 00:00:00 in Career Planning by Harry Freedman
It seems that every day another company hits the headlines for behaving badly. The offences vary, it can be multinationals avoiding tax, banks wrecking the economy, energy giants polluting the environment, utilities price fixing, tech companies passing consumer data to governments or many other things. But increasingly the focus is moving away from the company itself to the people who run it. Dis...

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11-06-2013 00:00:00 in Career Change by Harry Freedman
The jobs market is picking up speed, according to the quarterly Report on Jobs published this week. More permanent vacancies are being filled than at any time in the last year and a half. It’s encouraging news but of course there have already been a few false starts in the economy over the past couple of years so we need to treat these findings with caution. But it does remind us that one d...

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04-06-2013 00:00:00 in Career Planning by Harry Freedman
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, James Caan, the Government’s new Social Mobility Tsar says that parents should not help their children to get a job. Instead they should encourage kids to make their own way. The reason he gives is that when parents hold back they help their children to develop. I agree, but for a different reason. Years of giving career advice to frustrated and unh...

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30-05-2013 00:00:00 in Entrepreneurship by Harry Freedman
One of the mantras of the current labour market is that, despite high unemployment, the war for talent is still being bitterly fought. Captains of industry complain about the difficulty of recruiting good people, that competition for the best and brightest has never been greater. That may be so in the highest echelons, but at the Career Advice Centre we meet many highly talented people who still ...

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08-05-2013 00:00:00 in Career Planning by Harry Freedman
Stella English, a winner of the BBC’s Apprentice programme recently lost a claim against Alan Sugar for unfair dismissal. Lord Sugar said that she was driven by a need for ‘money and fame’. If she was, it’s no surprise. When candidates are selected to appear on the Apprentice, their media charisma is every bit as important as their business skills, and probably far more so....

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