Welcome to Space4Careers

Welcome to Space4Careers, the blog of the Centre for Career & Personal Development at Canterbury Christ Church University. This blog does what it says on the tin, it provides an opportunity for anyone who is interested in all aspects of careers work to find a little bit of space in their busy lives to think about current issues and trends. If you like or dislike, agree or disagree with what you see, please respond and let us have your views. We'd love to hear from you.

Please note, the content of this blog represents the views of the individual blogger, not those of

Canterbury Christ Church University.

View the website for the Centre for Career and Personal Development

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Building (successful) careers on the building site

We have the builders in at the moment – three of them.  Chatting to them about the effects of the recession on the construction industry, I learn that in their own personal worlds, everything is just hunky dory and each one is still inundated with work.  So how is it, I wondered, that these three are managing to do so well in an industry that is otherwise suffering?  What do they have in common that is making them successful at a difficult time for the industry?

First we have Mark.  He qualified as a carpenter 30 years ago but has experience in many areas of construction.  Over the years he has taken the initiative to qualify as a plumber, roofer and most recently as an electrician.  He said he hated the ‘college’ work but recognised that the more qualified he was the more work he could attract and many people liked the fact that they can call on one person for a whole range of work.  He takes a real pride in his wide range of skill and expertise and admits he lives for his work.

Secondly there is Jason, the brickie.  He is very different from Mark in that he has no interest in doing anything apart from being a brickie.  He gets satisfaction from getting every brick just right and likes to work in silence doing just that.  He says that bricklaying is his day job but his real life starts at 4pm after work.  In this ‘real life’ he is involved in a lot of charity events and in a range of fitness sports. It is these rather than his job that he lives for.

Finally there is Joe.  Joe is a brickie’s labourer. He is chatty and cheerful and very willing.  Joe cannot read and write well but he is a big guy who can lift a steel beam in one hand.  He spends some of his free time body building, for as he says, it is his strength that he has to offer so he makes sure his body is well looked after.

So what have they got in common that makes them all so successful despite their very obvious differences? Four things I think:

• Fantastic work ethic - they all turn up at 7am on the dot and they work solidly all day with a few short breaks.

• Flexibility - with Mark and Jason labouring alongside Joe if necessary.

• Networking - regular short calls to friends working in the industry, discussing jobs, time-scales and possible opportunities.

• Recognition of their personal selling points - and making the most of them.

They seem to have success sorted ........
Barbara Shottin

Thursday, 15 July 2010

A Bridge to a brighter future

At the end of June I was fortunate enough to travel to San Francisco to take part in the IAEVG Symposium in the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Embarcadero.  Before the event I was asked to choose which themed group I would like to participate in, and I chose “New International Constructs for the 21st Century”.  So, on Monday 28th June I took part in a discussion group, which involved sitting with a group of 15 people from all round the world discussing new and emerging theoretical approaches. A whole day discussing theory? What a treat!

The following day there was a round table event – again this was new to me.  The event took place in a large room with 29 round tables (literally). At each table, an individual presented their work related to one of the themes.  We were asked to make the sessions interactive and to encourage discussion.  Each session lasted for 30 minutes, at which point the convenor announced that it was time for participants to move to another table.  After another 30 minutes the groups changed again.  At my table (number 3) I presented what I now tend to refer to as “The Bridge Model”.  Having three opportunities to share my work was great.  I’m also glad to say that people came to my table (!) and the work was very well received.

If you would like to read more about the bridge model, please click on the title of this blog to open the link.

Needless to say, I didn’t go to San Francisco for a day and a half!  Afterwards we had a fantastic holiday - now I’m back and coping with jet lag – can’t really complain about that though, can I?!
Barbara Bassot