Month: January 2014

It’s Here!!!

It’s been little over 7 months since this journey began. It’s been an experience and a learning curve but over this last two days there has been a flurry of activity that has completely blown me away.

Having submitted my print ready files and artwork to the lovely people at The Choir Press on January 2nd, I’ve been waiting eagerly for the post every day, waiting for the approval copy to arrive. As much as you can visualise what you want the finished book to look like, until that copy is in your hands you can’t really get a feel for it. My fantastic illustrator Lewis and I had planned how much time we’d need to go through Employability What? and make the necessary tweaks but I’m very happy to report that on Tuesday evening I got home to find the very first copy waiting on the mat. It was perfect! There was not a single thing I wanted to change. My vision for Employability What? had been turned into one heck of a reality and believe me, that’s an amazing feeling.

In all the time I’ve been writing, my family and in particular my husband Allan had not read any of my work. Instead they chose to wait until this moment to see the book in all it’s finished glory and I’m actually glad that that’s the decision they made. Allan and indeed my friends and family have been hugely supportive but there have been occasions where I’ve thought they possibly been humouring me a little. It’s clear they are proud now they’ve seen it.

Receiving and signing off the approval copy was a massive milestone but to get a call yesterday morning from my mum telling me my auntie had just pre-ordered via Amazon was the icing on the cake. Being new to this process, I envisaged waiting for the book to show up on line, probably even after release date so to find that the publication date was being brought forward to February 14th and was already available for pre-order on line almost knocked me flat.

So now I’m gearing up to launch Employability What? and am carrying my approval copy with me everywhere, to show those who have offered their encouragement throughout this process or just to talk to people about how my incredible day job,which will hit the 5 year mark during the week my book is launched, has led me on this journey.

One last thing before I sign off and try to stop my head from spinning…. Here’s the link, just in case you were interested 🙂

As ever, thanks for reading.


Why Employability?

After two weeks back at the day job, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share a some experiences with you which have reinforced for me just why I have written ‘Employability What?’.

I’ve been working with three young people since being back at work and each of them has a story which is by no means uncommon.

The first of these is a young man I’ve just started working with who is doing a long term work experience placement in order to help build his confidence whilst studying. The feedback that I’ve had from those who know him best is that after just an informal interview and the first day of his placement, he is already seeing the benefits of working with business. We have a long way to go with this young man but I’m confident that by the time he leaves us, he’ll be more than ready for whatever his next step may be.

The second is a young man named Adam. I first met Adam as a Year 12 student in 2012 when he came to us as an intern via Career Academies. During his time with us, his employability skills developed at an unbelievable rate and it was amazing to see him grow and develop. The quiet young man who started with us was soon taking centre stage delivering presentations. Over the last 18 months we’ve continued to work with Adam on and off and are delighted to have him working with us on the Employability Charter @Emp_Charter on a voluntary basis until uni starts up again in February. He could have spent the month catching up with friends but instead he’s taken the opportunity to volunteer to do something that will ultimately help more young people gain employability skills whilst further enhancing his own and adding experience to his CV.

The third is a young lady with an incredible attitude to work. Until very recently, Deborah was one of those lovely Twitter friends you have yet to meet in person. She has an incredible array of skills and talents but is finding it tough to find work. It was when copy checking ‘Employability What?’ and in particular the section on experience that Deborah’s tweet flagged up asking if anyone could offer her work experience to help bolster her CV and maybe even lead to a job. It was this attitude that made me one of the first to respond and she’s now been with us for a few days, again working on the Employability Charter as we prepare to roll it out across the Humber.

From the young man still in education to Deborah who has a degree under her belt, all three are being proactive and are making themselves more employable but for me there are three things that we should all take note of:

1. Young people have a lot to offer to businesses, often due to the fresh approach or new skills that age credits them with. Adam rolled out our cloud based ICT system during his internship and Deborah has developed several forms of social media for the Employability Charter in just 3 days.

2. Regardless of age, support is needed to help people become more employable and this is something that more organisations can get involved in.

3. For every young person being proactive, there are an unknown number of others who risk falling through the cracks.

In talking to all three of of these young people I could relate so many areas of ‘Employability What?’ to what they were saying and can only hope that it can help more young people to develop their employability skills and be more prepared to enter the world of work.

Thanks for reading