Career Coach, Headhunter
Co-Founder @ AmbitionTree (pre-launch)
Like many I have a career that has morphed and changed over the years. I have worked for other people in corporates and SME’s and for the last 8 years for myself. I started in media, spent the largest part of my career finding people jobs and coaching as Recruiter / Headhunter and c2 years ago formally added career coaching to my offering. Alongside this my latest project is AmbitionTree where, as Co-Founder, I am on a mission to help those entering the workforce or those left behind by it, by creating a movement around ‘paying forward’ career guidance.
Having helped thousands of people with career development over the years I am acutely aware of how important it is to be happy in your job. And how many people are not. This is a complex subject but there are several themes that regularly arise such as coping with stress, accepting failure and rejection, keeping forward momentum, understanding that careers are not straight lines and embracing the concept of life-long learning.
On this last point I am passionate about learning and believe we live in a golden age of content. For me the challenge is funnelling that content into a useable format.
Wow this is a big subject.
I am a consumer of large quantities of content, in small doses, over numerous sittings, from multiple sources, almost exclusively digitally and ideally served to me. Creating easy access to quality content is key. Which I suspect is the norm in content consumption in this era. One that seems set to continue with the trends in mobile, video, audio and on demand content. Certainly, one that AmbitionTree will tap into.
As the silver hair would suggest I am of the era when staying abreast of current affairs was seen as essential. For this, in line with my liberal views, I am an avid reader of The Guardian. However, like many I now do this exclusively through the App which I believe not only continues to deliver A+ content but in a highly useable fashion. It also means that I can consume video & the written word together.
Continuing with this theme, and this one might be more controversial, I like the Forbes approach and will often refer to it for the view across the pond, top line views and insights. My understanding is that Forbes, at least partially, incentivise contributors on the number of followers they have which is an interesting twist in this age of social media and influencers.
Finally, on the current affairs front I will still pay for a copy of The Economist. Other than books, this is my only remaining interaction with paper! Having worked for the Economist Group and being a big fan of the editorial rigor, it still feels more tangible in paper form. Although the digital resources are phenomenal.
The majority of the content that I consume comes to me. I am a fan of email newsletters from selected sources. This kind of curated content, on areas of passion, pushed into my inbox makes me feel rightly or wrongly that I am keeping myself informed in areas that excite and stimulate me. A few examples (of many) include wellbeing and performance - Thrive thriveglobal.com, technology & Entrepreneurship – Tech Nation technation.io & entrepreneur.com
As we are launching a business and will be looking for funding - Sifted sifted.eu. All offer excellent content on user friendly sites and most importantly in the time poor world we live in they send me highlights to pique my interest and keep me disciplined.
Beyond an overflowing inbox we also keep an active research folder for AmbitionTree and I sign up for as many relevant white papers and reports as I can find. Finally, I am also a big fan of the overlap between books (both paper & digital) and the physical world of learning. By this I mean experts who publish and train or consult. Its a bit of a mine field but a couple of highlights include: from my coach training days and well worth a read
Time to Think which is inspirational timetothink.com/nancy-kline/ & a friend to AmbitionTree, Lorenzo Gomez III, best selling author of Cilantro Diaries, Tafolla Toro: Three Years of Fear & The Rack We Built: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Creating Company Culture.
The last area that defines my content habits is social media. Not Facebook and Snapchat (although you might see the odd shot of my sons or me as a Jedi if we are connected on FB) but those that offer a learning experience. Much like the newsletters I am a big fan of curated & diarised content via social channels.
As a Recruiter LinkedIn has been my lifeblood. The secret for me is to follow individuals, businesses, groups and educational institutions that interest me. That way relevant content and info that I would never have the time to source comes to me. It also means I can engage with the individuals who have produced the content. I am passionate about this and when working with early career clients my number one recommendation is to start interacting with content on LinkedIn (and other platforms). Like & comment on other people’s content and when confident enough start posting your own. That way you very quickly become part of a community. Content is no longer just a flat and static medium to be consumed.
This brings me on to the ‘disrupters’. What seems like old hat in the fast-paced world of social, TikTok, through to the game changers such as Clubhouse & entrepreneur social platform Entre
For the record I am not, yet, a TikTok-er however I am fascinated by the growth of the Career Influencer movement on this and other platforms. More within my comfort zone (although I am yet to start hosting rooms) is Clubhouse which at the moment is like a breath of fresh air. I must admit I am slightly obsessed and would recommend it to anyone with the desire to learn & communicate and of course if you have an iPhone.
My conclusion is about video (and audio). When AmbitionTree ambitiontreemedia.com launches
we will be largely focusing on video and probably unsurprisingly I am a big fan. The ability to learn from people thousands of miles or a lifetime of experience away still blows my mind. Whilst I might be fed up of zoom at the end of a busy week opening an entertaining and informative video from any of the above sources or even good old fashioned YouTube is still a joy.