Hello to you all.
We hope you're all ok, remaining positive and taking care.
Now that we are on Week five, you may be starting to wonder whether anyone else is out there. You might be applying for jobs and not hearing anything back or maybe you have become an armchair expert on Antiques! If you haven’t felt like doing anything at all and getting through the day is enough then that’s absolutely fine too – we all need to do what is right for us to keep ourselves on track.
This week’s Activity - Encouraging/Inspiring each other
During our phone calls to you, we have heard about all kinds of temporary jobs, volunteering, and courses that various people are doing and hobbies that you are trying. We would really love to share them with everyone else if you are happy to do so. We won’t include your name just which WISH club you usually attend, but if you have found something that works for you, it would be great to inspire others. If you see something that you like but have no idea how to get started, we can help you. So, for this week’s activity, please let us know by text, email or phone call what you are trying that is new and whether you would recommend it to other people. Let’s see if we can inspire each other to improve our skills together. If you have any pictures of things you have created send them in too – this week is all about sharing.
We have heard from customers who have started work in a wide variety of roles, including manufacturing, retail, administration (working from home) and farm work. If you are struggling to find work in your normal area of expertise, why not use this period as a good opportunity to try something else, even if it is just for a few months?
This week Lesley has crocheted us inspiration for a little competition.
Name this Bee – suggestions so far, “Bee Happy”, “Bee Safe” but we are sure you can do much better than that!
Skill of the week
Computer Skills – whatever level you are at, you can always develop your knowledge and become more comfortable using technology. This week all the online course links below are for courses which can help you to learn about the use of technology either in the workplace or at home. Again, if you have found something really useful, why not let us know and we can feedback to everyone else?
Online courses that you might wish to consider – all of these offer courses designed to improve your computer skills
This first one takes you through lots of lessons where you can collect badges and learn about how computers operate – (it’s a lot more fun that that sounds!) It’s a little bit addictive especially as the individual lessons are very short so there is always time for “just one more”! https://idea.org.uk/
If you feel that you need to brush up on your Microsoft skills, Virtual College do some bundled courses on the main programmes. They are not free but will give you a qualification and take you through from the very basics to expert levels. Click here - Virtual College
If you have always planned to learn how to touch type, then this might be for you https://www.typingclub.com/
Get Creative with Digital Making at home with three levels of learning https://www.raspberrypi.org/at-home/
Interview question of the week - “Tell me about a challenging situation and how you overcame it”
For this question, the interviewer is testing your ability to be resilient and cope under pressure. Your answer should focus on a work-related issue, explain clearly the measures you took to overcome the problem. The question gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how you can use your initiative and act with integrity. Don’t fall into the trap of criticising your company or colleagues and trying to present yourself in a superior light. This will come across as unprofessional and arrogant.
This week we are back to preparing an answer to a question that is commonly used at interview, using the STAR method. Write it down and practice delivering it as if you were talking to a prospective employer.
The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioural-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.
Situation: Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.
Task: What goal were you working toward?
Action: Describe the actions you took to address the situation with an appropriate amount of detail and keep the focus on YOU. What specific steps did you take and what was your particular contribution? Be careful that you don’t describe what the team or group did when talking about a project, but what you actually did. Use the word “I,” not “we” when describing actions.
Result: Describe the outcome of your actions and don’t be shy about taking credit for your behaviour. What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Make sure your answer contains multiple positive results. Be as specific as possible always, without rambling or including too much information.
Corona Virus Extension
You might also want to try answering this question using your current situation as the example. Try to make it very short and punchy as if you were doing it in a telephone interview with a very tight time restriction. Remember the elevator pitches that we practiced - where you only have the length of an elevator ride to tell your story.
Link to businesses who have jobs with immediate starts available - WISH live vacancies
Maintaining good Mental Health is extra important at the moment, here are some new links
If you are over 55 the you might like to look at The Silver Line Helpline Click here
Online counselling and well-being for any adults - Click here
Don’t forget that if you are feeling overwhelmed or need help urgently it is very important to get it. This link help you find it - Click here
Maintaining Good Physical Health is just as important Active Sussex are bringing together a number of organisations who are offering inspiration to try something new. Primarily aimed at young people, if you have teenagers in the house they might like to get involved, but no one will know if you decide to join them! Active Sussex Activity Schedule
Debt and money advice
Debt is a big worry for many of us, particularly if circumstances change suddenly or significantly. This document gives some great advice and avenues to follow if you need help - Click here to download
Managing interview delays and format changes
Following up on applications: patience is a virtue! If you are finding there is a longer wait than expected after making an application, be restrained with follow-up emails. The new advice for everyone is to work from home, if you can, and HR professionals and recruiters are no exception. Conversations, paper sifting and decisions that may have taken place quickly in an office can take longer if done by video calling or email. There is nothing wrong with a polite enquiry as to the status of your application via email but allow a longer time for replies and be aware that phone calls to usually manned company lines may now be redirected or even go unanswered.
If your job interview has been cancelled or moved online
If you reach the interview stage it is incredibly likely that there will be a change from normal procedure. In case of a video interview, there are a number of things you can and should do to prepare. This link to the ‘Target Jobs’ site covers some excellent hints and tips for video interviewing, which although quite daunting, is actually easier to prepare for in many ways - Click here
Myself, Lesley and Mel are available to help you prepare for online or video interviews, so please ask. We also have a number of HR professionals who have offered their help with interview practice.
I like much of the advice on it, so much of the following information is also taken from the 'Target Jobs' site.
If your interview is cancelled altogether, your first priority should not be to ‘change the mind’ of an employer to host you at interview, but rather to establish why your interview was cancelled and what any other arrangements will be. This is the perfect time to show what an understanding and well-organised employee you would be if taken on.
Follow up with a polite email to reiterate your interest in the role and the employer, explain that you understand the extreme circumstances acting on the hiring process at the moment and state your availability to be contacted at a later date if things change.
Again, this may require patience while companies adjust to home working. You may be offered a video interview at another stage, or the interview could be deferred until a later date. In case of a deferral, enquire whether you will need to reapply or whether your initial application will be valid.
As always, we are committed to helping you on your journey towards employment so please get in touch if we can help you in any way. It has been great to speak, text or email with many of you over the last couple of weeks and hear how you are getting on. It is particularly pleasing when we're told that you're excited to be starting a new role.
We also really appreciate the feedback we've had so far on our bulletins, which thankfully has been mostly positive.
We are really looking forward to hearing about your skills, if you would like to share them, and helping you to develop them.
Remember that the whole world is having similar difficulties. So, although your own situation is personal to you, try to be kind to yourself and remember that if you keep busy, remain positive and focus on the things you can control, you will succeed.
Take care and please call if you need anything.
Richard and Mel.
Richard Brooks FIEP - Director.
Mobile - 07783 222956
Office - 01403 627766
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Specialist Employment, Training and Advice Services
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