Browse Category: career development

How to handle a job appraisal

IMG_0974Some find the thought of a job appraisal scary. The thought of sitting across from your boss or superior answering questions about your performance, defending the decisions you have made and explaining the mistakes you couldn’t avoid.

Here are some ideas on how to handle a job appraisal:

  1. Preparation

Make a list of the most recent projects and tasks that you have worked on. For each project write down a couple of successful points of what went well – how you communicated well within the team, how you used your initiative to implement a new idea, or whatever. Then list what you believe could have been improved, which areas you could develop yourself and how you could go about doing that. By doing this exercise you can intercept most of the questions that may be asked.

  1. Get in the right mind-set

A job appraisal is not an exercise to trip you up, expose you or embarrass you. The purpose of a job appraisal is to allow your employer to understand what you are capable of and what you need to do to improve your job performance. By understanding this you will be able to get in the right frame of mind. Being confident in the knowledge of what you have achieved will allow you relax and perform the best in your appraisal.

  1. Listen and learn

A job appraisal, when done well, will provide you with incredibly helpful advice and opportunities to improve yourself and your work performance. A job appraisal is not about holding you accountable for the things you have done wrong, but instead it is about giving you the ability to learn from somebody else’s experience and opinion.

  1. Don’t go on the offensive

Employers want employees who can identify ways to improve, accept advice and outside opinions, and are willing to advance themselves. By going on the offensive any chance of a promotion or pay rise will be lost. Being overly defensive, or even offensive, will show that you are unable to accept criticism and shows you are unwilling to change.

 

 

Articles published in City A.M. this week

City A.M. articles for this week.

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I’m really enjoying writing for City A.M. each week, I hope you are enjoying reading my articles as much as I enjoy writing them. Here are the articles I published this week, be sure to check out what I published last week in City A.M..

Here are my articles published in City A.M. this week:

 

Stalled career syndrome: What to do when your job’s going nowhere

Are you bored at work? Passed over for that promotion? Find yourself procrastinating or spending time surfing the net to make up office face time? Feel like you’re not getting anywhere? Then you may be suffering from stalled career syndrome.

Two ways to really annoy your boss

Want to annoy your boss? Why wouldn’t you? By simply and consistently annoying your boss you could leave those boring office days behind, forget the early mornings and that rubbish, crowded commute and spend the rest of your days at home in your underwear watching daytime TV. Whoop whoop.

 

Here are my articles published in City A.M. last week

See all the articles published on the blog this week

 

 

Fancy a Job as a Nato Speechwriter?

If you have to be a speechwriter, why not be a NATO speechwriter?

I was contacted today by the NATO HQ Recruitment Service about a job vacancy for a Senior Speechwriter, a key post at NATO HQ.

Information on the vacancy can be found here.  https://nato.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl

I have copied and pasted bits the advert for those interested… but too lazy to click! 😉

Senior Speechwriter-140291

Primary Location Belgium-Brussels
Organizational Element PUBLIC DIPLOMACY DIVISION
Schedule Full-time
Salary (Pay Basis) : 8,143.46Euro (EUR) Monthly
Grade A.5

Description:

NOTIFICATION OF AN “A” GRADE VACANCY
NATO INTERNATIONAL STAFF

OPEN TO NATIONALS OF NATO MEMBER STATES ONLY

LOCATION: NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium

DIVISION:
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY DIVISION
SPOKESPERSON
PRESS & MEDIA

TITLE: Senior Speechwriter

GRADE: A.5

SECURITY CLEARANCE: NS

————————————————————————————————————————
Please note that the competition for this post is provisionally scheduled as follows (exact dates to be confirmed):
– Pre-selection screening during the week of 13 October 2014;
– Final selection during the weeks of 3 or 10 November 2014 in Brussels, Belgium.

This competition may also lead to the creation of a reserve list for future grade A5 and A.4 vacancies within the speechwriting team.
————————————————————————————————————————

1. SUMMARY

NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division (PDD) plays a key role in explaining the Alliance’s strategic and political messages to opinion formers and to the public in general. As NATO’s main public interface, PDD works to raise the Alliance’s profile with audiences world-wide. PDD also works to promote security cooperation through a variety of programmes in NATO and partner countries and contributes to a continuous process of international security debate and policy creation. Last but not least, the Division also acts as coordinator for most public diplomacy activities undertaken by other Divisions at NATO Headquarters (HQ), as well as by other entities belonging to the NATO structure.

The Press and Media Section is the principal point of contact for all media-related issues at NATO HQ, including engagement with the media, media policy, and media analysis and monitoring. The NATO Spokesperson has overall responsibility for all speeches and public remarks for the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General.

The Senior Speechwriter reports to the NATO Spokesperson and the Deputy Spokesperson/Head of Press & Media. He/she oversees the team of speechwriters which is an integral part of the Press & Media Section. He/she conducts background research and drafts speeches, articles, key press conferences, public remarks and other material as appropriate, as part of the overall communications strategy for the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General.

In carrying out these responsibilities, the Senior Speechwriter keeps abreast of the wide range of political and politico-military issues on NATO’s agenda. He/she follows the guidance of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General, directly, and through the NATO Spokesperson, and contributes to the overall output of the Press and Media Section.

He/she also maintains close relationships with the staff of the Private Office, the Public Diplomacy Division, and with other Divisions within the International Staff (IS) and International Military Staff (IMS), as well as with the NATO Military Authorities and Allied missions.

Applicants are requested to attach to their application one speech that they have written recently and that, in their view, is representative of their work. This piece should have been prepared by the applicant alone and should be in English. The speech may, but need not, treat a topic or area of direct interest to the Organization. Applicants are requested to indicate the following elements in relation to the speech: date of the speech, speaker, three quotable quotes, venue and audience.

2. QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

ESSENTIAL
The incumbent must:
possess a university degree from an institute of recognised standing, preferably in political science, history, journalism and/or the study of contemporary international relations;
have at least 10 years’ experience of drafting speeches, articles, key media messages and other written material to deadline and in the appropriate style;
have substantial experience in contributing to policy development, political research, and analysis and reporting, preferably in a research institute, think-tank or in the Foreign or Defence ministry of a NATO member Nation;
have extensive knowledge of the whole range of political and military issues of concern to the Alliance;
possess a mature understanding of the complex interrelationships of political and defence developments as they affect Allied security;
be an effective public speaker;
possess the following minimum levels of NATO’s official languages (English and French): VI (“Proficient”) in one and I (“Beginner”) in the other;
be available to travel and to work long and unsocial hours as required.

3. MAIN ACCOUNTABILITIES

Expertise Development
Within in the Press & Media Section, supervise the team of speechwriters in close coordination with the Deputy Spokesperson/Head of Press and Media. Draft speeches, opinion articles and key press conferences for the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General. Keep abreast of NATO’s broad political and military agenda. Keep up-do-date on all NATO-related media and communications issues. Draft opening statements for the Secretary General’s public remarks at ministerial and summit meetings, as well as remarks for internal use as required.

Policy Development
Contribute to the shaping of NATO policy by providing recommendations for the Secretary General’s major speeches, articles and key press conferences.

Knowledge Management
Conduct the appropriate research and analysis to draft speeches, articles and key press conferences for the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General.

Project Management
Plan and ensure the preparation of all output by the team of speechwriters to deadline and in the appropriate style.

Information Management
Supervise the effective flow of all work produced by the team of speechwriters, ensuring that appropriate products are distributed to deadline and in the appropriate style.

Stakeholder Management
Maintain close relationships with the Press and Media Section, staff of the Private Office, PDD, and with other Divisions within the IS and IMS, as well as with the NATO Military Authorities and Allied missions.

Perform any other related duty as assigned.

4. INTERRELATIONSHIPS

In carrying out the above responsibilities, the Senior Speechwriter reports directly to the Spokesperson and to the Deputy Spokesperson/Head of Press and Media. He/she is an integral part of the Press & Media Section, and maintains and develops close working relationships with the members of the team, in particular with press officers. He/she follows the guidance of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General, directly and through the NATO Spokesperson. He/she maintains close relationships with the staff of the Private Office, Divisions within the International Staff and International Military Staff, and the NATO Military Authorities and Allied missions. In addition, he/she will be expected to build strong links with security and communication experts outside of NATO.

Direct reports: 2
Indirect reports: N/a.

5. COMPETENCIES

The incumbent must demonstrate:
Analytical Thinking;
Clarity and Accuracy;
Conceptual Thinking;
Customer Service Orientation;
Impact and Influence;
Initiative;
Organisational Awareness;
Teamwork

6. CONTRACT

Contract to be offered to the successful applicant (if non-seconded):
Definite duration contract of three years; possibility of renewal for up to three years, during which the incumbent may apply for conversion to an indefinite duration contract.

Contract clause applicable:

In accordance with the contract policy, this is a post in which turnover is desirable for political reasons in order to be able to accommodate the Organisation’s need to carry out its tasks as mandated by the Nations in a changing environment, for example by maintaining the flexibility necessary to shape the Organisation’s skills profile, and to ensure appropriate international diversity.

The maximum period of service foreseen in this post is 6 years. The successful applicant will be offered a 3-year definite duration contract, which may be renewed for a further 3-year period. However, according to the procedure described in the contract policy the incumbent may apply for conversion to an indefinite contract during the period of renewal and no later than one year before the end of contract.

If the successful applicant is seconded from the national administration of one of NATO’s member States, a 3-year definite duration contract will be offered, which may be renewed for a further period of up to 3 years subject also to the agreement of the national authority concerned. The maximum period of service in the post as a seconded staff member is six years.

Serving staff will be offered a contract in accordance with the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations.

7. HOW TO APPLY:

Applications must be submitted using one of the following links, as applicable:
For NATO civilian staff members only: please apply via the internal recruitment portal (for more information, please contact your local Civilian HR Manager);
For all other applications: www.nato.int/recruitment

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Due to the broad interest in NATO and the large number of potential candidates, telephone or e-mail enquiries cannot be dealt with.

Appointment will be subject to receipt of a security clearance (provided by the national Authorities of the selected candidate) and approval of the candidate’s medical file by the NATO Medical Adviser.

Applicants who are not successful in this competition may be offered an appointment to another post of a similar nature, albeit at the same or a lower grade, provided they meet the necessary requirements.

Please note that we can only accept applications from nationals of NATO member countries.

NATO is an equal opportunities employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race or ethnic origin, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age (restrictions to age may apply for first appointment only, according to the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations. This is a prerogative as approved by the NATO Council).

Please note that the International Staff at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium is a non-smoking environment.

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (Part 4 of 4 – The Deed)

Ok – so this is the 4th and final episode in the series of 40 questions to ask yourself BEFORE you chuck in your job.

You might be unhappy with your job and thinking of chucking it all in, sabotaging your colleagues work or throwing something at your boss? Or are you contemplating quietly walking out, leaving the country and going to live a simpler life on an island? Thinking of changing jobs is normal for everyone – you have no monopoly on any of these thoughts – but doing it right, whatever that is, is important.

Career progression means changing jobs by definition – but why and how you do it can improve your life or totally screw it up. Changing jobs at the right time for the right reasons and in the right way may seem obvious – but emotions and feelings and irrational thought get in the way and can seriously mess up your career.

I have changed jobs and made a few career changes in my life and some were cleverer than others!

So before you start booking plane tickets, selling the house, moving to or from the big city, emigrating or physically throwing stuff at the boss, why not balance out the loud emotional voices of your feelings with some sober, boring logical stuff.

Once you have realised that the problem is the job, the only way to fix it is to quit, and you know where you are heading is the deed; actually quitting. This can be a difficult process especially if you are leaving somewhat reluctantly. But it is the final necessary step to getting a new job.

Here are 10 questions to answer to decide How To Do The Deed before changing jobs:

  1. How would your departure leave your company and the jobs and security of your colleagues?
  2. How are you going to tell them?
  3. Do you need a reference?
  4. What notice are you going to give them? What day will it be – the day after payday?
  5. How and when is the best way to tell them? Blurting it out may get it off your chest but if you are that wound up you will probably screw it up.
  6. Are you going to offer a handover – what should be in the handover?
  7. How likely are you to see your current team and boss in your new role?
  8. How important will they be to your future?
  9. What do you want them saying about you? Do you care?
  10. Will you do this in a way that will make you proud in retrospect and that shows some class?

This is the final part of a 4 week series. Previously in this  (really exciting) career-based mini-series:

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Problem)

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Fix)

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Decision)

 

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Keeping your speaking knives sharp: Executive Coaching for the seasoned speaker

This is a guest blog from a friend and a client, speaker coach Denise Graveline –  It was emotional for me to read. To say the least. 

Denise GravelineKeeping your speaking knives sharp: Executive Coaching for the seasoned speaker

When I shared the news with my clients and readers that I, a speaker coach, had hired Peter Botting, also a speaker coach, to get ready for chairing a conference, I got some pushback from the curious. “Why would you do that?” they wondered. The implication was that I’d somehow admitted I wasn’t as good as I make myself out to be. After all, I’ve been coaching speakers for nearly 30 years, at first within large nonprofit organizations and the U.S. federal government as a senior official in the Clinton Administration, then for the past 10 years in my own consultancy. I’ve put speakers in front of the U.S. Congress, on the TEDMED stage and on TED.com, and on national television. And I’ve done the same myself, delivering industry keynote speeches, testifying before Congress, speaking in the British Parliament.

One might consider me, after all that time, to be an expert without having to stretch the truth. A seasoned speaker, certainly.

Of course, Peter had the right comeback for me: “It’s a poor chef who fails to keep her knives sharp,” he said, dismissing the critics and wonderers. I didn’t want to stretch the truth. I just wanted to stretch myself.

I wrote about being a seasoned speaker and getting coaching from Peter on my public speaking blog, The Eloquent Woman:

A trainer who seeks no training after she hits ‘expert’ status is just sharing the expertise of long ago, over and over again. I wanted to set the bar higher for myself. Peter struck me as a professional’s professional, someone who could add value to the skills I already bring to the task. He agreed that I should push beyond rote and strive for exceptional.Then I got what I asked for, and I clutched….Despite knowing better, I acted as any speaker might when pushed. It’s been a while since this shoe was on the other foot, and you’ll be relieved to hear that I’m just like anyone else on this score.

My coach listened, advised, nudged, and teased out the needed results. “I want to stretch you. Quality needs to be pushed,” he’d say, reminding me that “good enough seldom is,” a challenge to the ambitious lion if ever there were one…I knew without question that I’d picked the right coach. He was doing just what I’d asked him to do, and my feeling turned inside-out was something I could control. I went back to responding, rather than reacting, to the challenges. I decided to say “yes” to my coach, and even better, “got to yes” with myself. Instead of running from the power, I ran toward it. At one critical point, my coach reminded me that “turning yourself inside out is a bit like spring cleaning–you find old treasures and assets almost forgotten.” I’d been in search of grace notes and mindset and themes when I decided to seek coaching, and I found them…..

In Washington, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a speaker coach or media trainer. I’ve hired or worked with many of them, and have heard them say the same things over and over again. It’s a cookie-cutter, off-the-shelf, robotic method of coaching. Peter takes a personalized approach, uncomfortable yet powerful precisely because it focuses on you as a unique speaker. Far from merely spouting tips and advice, Peter listens and reads with care, catching nuances and seeing gaps I miss. His ear is especially sensitive to what an international audience will hear, a real advantage as I head into this global conference. But it’s also good at catching woolly thinking and flabby language.

He’s also good at pushing and insisting you do better, saying, “Good coaching can change my clients’ careers, their reputations, their income and their lives. So I apologise for not apologising to my clients if I am sometimes tough with them.” Peter’s seismic approach to speaker coaching can make you feel as if there’s earth moving under that once-stable place you were standing. You can view that as a danger, something outside your control, and run away from it. Or you can view it as the early rumblings of your own power as a speaker, and run toward it.

You, too, may be an experienced speaker with a big speech or speaking task coming up. Perhaps you’ve just been elected an officer of your professional society, or started a new management role, one that requires presentations to the board of directors or to external audiences. You might, after speaking in smaller halls, be about to give that TEDx speech you’ve always dreamed of doing, or be tackling an important keynote or AGM speech. Your friends and colleagues will tell you this is a sign of your expertise, and it is. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use some coaching right about now. Peter makes the case for 1:1 coaching to improve your performance and notes something he learned as a tennis coach from a pro:

Ian Barclay coached me in Johannesburg. He was Pat Cash’s coach and I was a young, ambitious tennis coach totally focused on learning all his best coaching techniques and skills. He said that teaching beginners, like he taught Cash initially, was all about skills and just 5% about what’s in your head. By the time Cash was playing serious professional tennis, the ratios had reversed and it was now at least 95% head and the rest skills. If you are helping people with what’s in their head – it’s personal. Huge trust is needed and that’s best done very carefully and sensitively without others listening in.

Peter says 1:1 coaching is for people who want to win.That’s the kind of coaching I chose to keep my speaking knives sharp. Here’s how I did at the task for which I was coached, chairing an international conference of speechwriters in Brussels last year. What will you use your coaching with Peter to advance?

4 ideas to consider before accepting a job

sellingGetting a job offer is a great feeling. But before you leap for the phone to accept the offer – wait and think. Accepting a job offer is a big step and should be treated like one.

Here are some ideas to consider before accepting a job:

  1. Money

Salary is one of the easiest factors to measure when considering a job offer. You will likely already have a benchmark regarding salary based on how much you already earn or used to earn, how much you are being offered, and how much you want.

Here is my guide to negotiating salary

  1. Culture

Culture is a much more difficult concept to consider than salary. Research the company and try to figure out what their values, practises, goals and attitudes are. Consider what is important to you and see if the company’s culture matches your own beliefs.

  1. Management and colleagues

The people you interact with on a day-to-day basis are likely to have one of the biggest impacts on your happiness. It is likely that you have met your manager, boss, or supervisor. Reflect on whether you think you can work well with them, and if they would create an atmosphere in which you can work successfully.

  1. The job

After looking for a new job for a long time you may start to lower your expectations of what you want from a job. Take some time to think seriously whether you want this job or you just want a job? Before you accept the job think – how will your skills be used? How will you be able to develop n this job? How will be able to cope with the responsibilities of this job?

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (Part 3 of 4 – The Decision)

The Decision

Are you unhappy with your job? Thinking of chucking it all in, sabotaging your colleagues work or throwing something at your boss? Or are you contemplating quietly walking out, leaving the country and going to live a simpler life on an island? Thinking of changing jobs is normal for everyone – you have no monopoly on any of these thoughts – but doing it, whatever that is, right is important.

Career progression means changing jobs by definition – but why and how you do it can improve your life or totally screw it up. Changing jobs at the right time for the right reasons and in the right way may seem obvious – but emotions and feelings and irrational thought get in the way and can seriously mess up your career.

I have changed jobs and made a few career changes in my life and some were cleverer than others!

So before you start booking plane tickets, selling the house, moving to or from the big city, emigrating or physically throwing stuff at the boss, why not balance out the loud emotional voices of your feelings with some sober, boring logical stuff.

Once you have decided that you need to change job for whatever reason next comes the decision. Quitting the job is a difficult decision to make, deciding where to go next is even harder. Maybe you are looking for a simple job change or maybe you have decided to change career and explore a new industry. Either way you first need to understand where you are going and how you are going to get there.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to find out what decision to make after changing jobs:

  1. If you are thinking of changing your profession – what would you like to do? Why? How will it be different?
  2. Have you spoken to head hunters or specialist agencies in your field or in the proposed new field?
  3. Have you spoken to your family? Have they seen you become unhappy at work?
  4. Have you spoken to your friends? Have you changed recently?
  5. Have you cash in the bank and what are your commitments?
  6. How long could you exist before you start visiting friends at meal times?
  7. Have you assessed the job opportunities in your current profession? Availability of jobs, salaries compared to yours, qualifications and experience of the people in those jobs?
  8. How are you doing compared to others? If you are ahead – what’s the real problem – if you are behind what do you think is the reason? (Be honest here – it’s just between you and the piece of paper.)
  9. What do you need to make the change in terms of training, investment? A lawyer I knew chucked his promised career in with a Magic Circle law firm and bought a pub. Same hours – much more fun. It was a big decision with a big investment and he “threw away” a pristine career CV. But he seems happy.
  10. Could you take a sabbatical and test drive a new career? How could you test whether it works for you?

This is part 3 of a 4 week series. Previously in this  (really exciting) career-based mini-series:

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Problem)

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Fix)

Coming up next week:

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Deed)

 

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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