Personal Competencies

There are a tonne of resources under the Penna Sunrise program. I intend to work through this although the total estimate of the time required seems large to me. We’ll see. Currently, I’m on the tools they have to identify Skills & Achievements. I’ve just done the Personal Competencies test which gave the Results below.

To use the results, one should:

  • Bring out Strong Competencies in CV and Interview
  • Reflect on how to turn important and weak competencies into strengths

The importance was based on my past job. I think it would be useful to review this list based on the job I apply for when targeting CVs/prepping for interviews as the importance may be different depending on the role.

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Week 3, Day 1 : Happy Anniversary Again

Hmm, so I’ve discovered that you start a blog and then one week later, stop. Is that normal? I guess it is. I’ve been a bit busy with life which I suppose is a good thing. Life including my daughter’s birthday, a family party for that, my niece’s birthday, a family party for that, my Wife and other daughter going away to Barcelona for the weekend, a Bank Holiday, a trip to London for a Doctor’s appointment. Stuff like that. And also to be honest a bit of a rebound from the initial enthusiasm about losing my job. Yes, a bit of grumpiness, anger and ‘I cannot be arsed now’ with this finding a job/career/next step thing.

So where did I get? Well, the main thing is that almost immediately after the last post, a career advisor, John, from Penna got in touch with me and we met up at the end of last week. That was a good 2-hour wide-ranging get-to-know-you talk-about-finding-a-job session. It generated lots of notes, that I’ve been too scared to go back to, which I will blog about in due course.

Plus the nice HR lady sent me a bunch of feedback ( and praise ) on my CV so I spent some time producing some more versions.

  • Kick off meeting with Career Consultant
  • 1:1 Consultancy End Date will be July 29th so USE IT OR LOSE IT
  • Produced 2 more CV versions with HR feedback and Personal Statement

The article of the day is the rise of the middle-aged intern which mentions that Goldman Sachs, MetLife, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Barclays now have internship programmes for older workers. Not sure I want to be an intern but some of the qualities of more experienced workers resonate with me like ‘resilient and adaptable’ and ‘sounding board and a mentor’.

Week 2, Day 1 : Happy Anniversary

I’ve been discovering in recent months,  Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. This quote I’ve stumbled upon is especially thought-provoking at the moment:

“The common experience is that man fits himself as well as he can to the customary details of that work or trade he falls into, and tends it as a dog turns a spit. Then is he part of the machine he moves; the man is lost. Until he can manage to communicate himself to others in his full stature and proportion, he does not yet find his vocation.”

Have I found my true vocation? That’s what I’ve got to find out. And so one week in, Happy Anniversary to me!, I have an appointment to find out about the service that Penna offers. And yes I am lucky to get access to a service like this as part of my redundancy package. A lot of people don’t.

It turns out to be a good meeting. The expectations I had turned out to pretty accurate. The nice lady I spoke to says she we pair me up with a career advisor for some 1:1 help. She’s a good listener and has some good advice straight off. It also feels good to be out having meetings with new people.

I have two themes in my head at the moment. One is a blue sky, step back, consider all options approach. The other is more practical and centres around planning what I need to find a job in a similar role and probably field.

She advises focusing on the planning and allowing myself some time to think about options so I don’t rush into work and leave myself with a nagging feeling that I should have taken the chance to work through it whilst I had the opportunity. I agree with her. I also asked whether I should dive into networking for a) practice and b) information gathering. She advises to work on the list of possible contacts and to hold off until I have planned what I want to get out of those conversations ( besides catching up with some old friends as well of course ). I think she is right here also.

Day 2: I went to London as Me and came back an Unemployed Cancer Patient

Off to London today for a couple of appointments. The first is with a doctor as I have a basal cell cancer on my right cheek which needs to come off. The second is with HR at the office for the first redundancy consultation.

The doctor was very nice and seems strangely familiar. He will remove the skin cancer using Mors Surgery. “However small it is it feels huge to the patient”, he says. “Don’t worry”, I say, “I told my wife I would be coming back with half my face missing”. “Probably only a tenth”, he dead-pans. Oh the japes we are having. Now for the punch. He can’t do the op until May 22nd. I’m pretty sure my health insurance will have run out by then. I will check with HR.

It’s now lunchtime so I stop for a bite in Pimilco Pizza Express. It’s very nice and has wifi which is what us modern day job seekers require. For 30 seconds I feel like crying but then an excellent calzone arrives and I soon start feeling better.

I then go to a vodafone shop and look at phones as the scrubbed blackberry still works but not for long. I’m torn between the Blackberry PRIV at one end of the scale, and the 10 quid Alcatel at the other end of the scale. Luckily for me the display blackberry has a wonky space key which makes writing INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING. Hate shopping. Leave.

I meet a good friend (Ex-colleague, contractor, entrepreneur, and ‘Man On The Inside’ at the old company) for a very civilized mint tea. He reads out the roll call of the those that have departed. I feel better again. I’m in illustrious company.

I make a point of meeting him in the lobby of the office. I’ve learnt from bitter experience that its best to knock that one down as soon as possible. Firstly, the security guard does not rugby tackle me to the ground. He’s not even holding a list of names like you sometimes see. Secondly, absolutely nobody I know appears as I’m enjoying the fine leather arm chairs. Lastly my longest standing client does not come sprinting over to poach me out of IT. It’s all a bit disappointing quite frankly.

Finally I’m off to the meeting with HR. I’m ushered into the inner sanctum of HR and into the private office of a very nice lady, who I suspect may be the BOSS. It feels like I am getting the VIP treatment. I’m flattered. She lets slip that this round is less than 100 people so I probably am. Lucky me.

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