Is being a foster carer a job or a vocation?

Posted on May 31, 2021 at 10:32 pm

There is a national shortage of foster carers across the UK which means that many children are living in surroundings that keep them safe and well but do not offer the family environment that is crucial to their wellbeing.

Foster carers are paid a generous fostering allowance, and get tax concessions for looking after each child, with higher allowances for looking after the most challenging of children, but it is a job like no other. It is difficult for carers to be wholly reliant on the income from fostering, because it is only when you have a child or young person in placement that you will be paid. This might need some planning on your part to make sure you can manage any periods when you do not have a child placed with you.

Being a foster carer is most definitely not simply about the income it may bring. People who start the fostering journey with this belief or attitude are unlikely to get through the assessment process. Good foster parents have to be able to adopt a parenting style that mixes boundaries with warmth, flexibility and in some cases having a thick skin. Fostering places an emphasis on relationships, and on problem solving, with an expectation that fostering families commit to building a positive relationship with the child they look after so in this regard fostering definitely qualifies for the title of a vocation.

Posted in Jobs

Help! I need a job

Posted on March 30, 2021 at 11:36 am

For many people, this last year has meant that they have either lost their job, been furloughed or have not been able to get a job in the first place especially if they work in the hospitality or leisure sectors. Financial help in the form of benefits has, for lots of people been a lifeline but now the future is beginning to look brighter, and jobseekers are ready to find a job to give them the security they need.

This is a good time to re-evaluate the skill set that you have and to consider whether additional training would be useful to increase the chance of getting a good job. It may be that a career in a different sector is worth considering especially if your circumstances have changed. A good first step is to enquire at local colleges about the courses they are running at the moment or in the near future and sign up for any that would be useful in your job search. Some courses will be free if you are in receipt of certain benefits.

Agency work is a good way to pursue employment and can give you experience of working in a sector or for a particular company without any commitment. Often when the company gets to know you they may offer you a position permanently should one become available.

Posted in Jobs

Working in retail need not mean working in a supermarket

Posted on February 22, 2021 at 10:19 am

For some job seekers working in retail might seem uninteresting as usually it means either working for a clothes retailer either hanging up clothes or in a supermarket stacking shelves but there are retail jobs out there that are hugely different and that can be appealing to someone looking for a more customer facing role.

One such role which may appeal to job seekers is to work for the National Trust in one of its gift shops. In a position as a retail assistant for the National Trust you will be involved in displaying gifts, food, homeware and literature in an attractive manner and promoting the brand in a positive way feeling confident that the profits that you help to generate will be used in an environmentally friendly way and that you will be helping to preserve the natural and historic environment for the future.

The career prospects are reported to be good when working for this charity and it is always possible to change your role for an outdoor one if it is something that you desire. If you are ambitious then jobs as managers and retail buyers are generally available to apply for when the National Trust is recruiting.

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Maternity leave coming to an end? It may be time for a career change

Posted on January 26, 2021 at 3:38 pm

Returning to the workplace after maternity leave is for some new mothers a welcome return to adult company and a sense of normality but some mothers feel when maternity leave comes to an end that they do not want to go back to their previous workplace. It may be the case that their post maternity career is no longer suitable for instance if it involved working unsociable hours or required overseas travel and childcare is a problem so mothers may want to rethink their career path.

The type of employment that would be suitable with the childcare constraints now in place may be limited however if childcare either in nurseries or in the home is available this choice is wider.

Retraining for a different career may be necessary to update the qualifications that are held so that the range of jobs that can be applied for is increased. This may sometimes involve undertaking a college course or even going to university, an opportunity that is often possible for those looking after a young family as many courses can be completed online. Universities usually welcome mature students on their courses and research has shown that mature candidates generally have good career prospects when they qualify.

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Is a job share as a teacher worth considering?

Posted on December 14, 2020 at 8:22 am

For some teachers who wish to reduce the hours they are working to get a better work life balance, considering taking on a job share role may be a possibility. It is often a particularly good way to still enjoy the benefits and rewards of working in school whilst also releasing time to do other things or spend more time with family. It is thought that pupils also benefit from being in a class that has two teachers working together as they may each bring a different set of skills and experience to the classroom.

When taking on a job share role the first consideration is how the work is going to be divided up. Is it going to be a fifty-fifty split or is one employee going to do more than another? Obviously, this will result in a difference in pay and will be directly proportional to the hours or days worked.

Secondly, curriculum subject responsibility needs to be decided. Most job shares work best when a teacher’s strengths are utilised so that, for example a teacher who enjoys and is good at art leads that subject and a teacher whose strengths lie in science takes responsibility for planning the science curriculum. This approach is going to be of benefit to the pupils in the class as they are getting double the teaching expertise and of benefit to the teachers as they share the workload.

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Doing an apprenticeship – can you afford it?

Posted on November 18, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Sometimes if you want to have a change in career but do not want to or cannot return to full time education you may be able to learn on the job. One way in which you can do this is to do an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship can last anywhere between one and four years. Often if you have maths and English GCSE or equivalent, you may start off on a level two or possibly even a level three. You will get paid a wage for working but this wage is often a fraction of the salary that qualified people will get. You do need to take this in to account as the chances are you may not be able to work another job alongside it if it is full time. You may be entitled to help from the government financially as you will be classed as being in some sort of education but you do need to work all this out first before you apply for the position.

Some employers will allow you to do an NVQ whilst staying in your employed role, so you will not take a pay cut and can train as you are working.

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How to go about finding a job at present

Posted on October 13, 2020 at 4:18 pm

At the moment, finding a job is even harder than ever in most industries. Many companies are having to get rid of staff, not take them on and the number of people who are unemployed at present in the UK is growing. This means that for any jobs that are available, competition is high and they may only need the smallest excuse to discount you over the other applicates.

It is more important than ever that your CV is up to date and that you ensure your covering letter is written emphasising the main qualities you have. It may be that if they are inundated with applications that they only get to read the cover letters before they make their first cull. You need to ensure that your covering letter gets you through this first process.

If you do not mind what job you do then try and think about industries that are still very busy and may me looking to recruit staff such as cleaners in hospitals, office etc, supermarket workers and road repair workers. Often with recruitment it is a bit of a numbers game, so the more jobs you apply for the more likely you are to land a position.

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Retired but do not want to stay at home-what are your options?

Posted on September 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

For many people, the opportunity to retire from work is longed for but the reality of retirement may cause some to question whether they want to stay at home without the structure that employment offers. The days of rushing out to work in the morning or working shifts are not missed but the companionship of work colleagues is something that many retirees comment on and want to change.

Getting a job that is suitable for someone who is retired may not be easy as some employers do not offer part time roles and it may be that you do not want full time employment at this stage in your life. It is important to seek out a job that is as stress free as possible such as a retail position. Some more forward-thinking companies encourage older people to apply for roles as they have seen the benefits of a more mature approach to working.

If you enjoy working with children, then a job as a teaching assistant or childcare worker can be a good solution as often children respond well to older people.

If there are no financial concerns it may be that a volunteering role may be suitable. There are many charities that rely heavily on their bank of volunteer workers and this can be a rewarding way to spend your time after retirement.

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Have you ever considered a career in publishing?

Posted on August 17, 2020 at 1:07 pm

With many of us finding our jobs not quite as secure as we had hoped of late, it may be the time to rethink your career and see if you may want to have a change.

Publishing is a very popular career choice at present. With digital publishing on the up, it is quickly moving with the times. Publishers have realised that in order to keep up with the current digital market, they needed to follow suit creating ebooks and apps ect as many readers are no opting for these sorts of books often over paperback and hardback. Devices such as the Kindle have made it very easy for people to carry a huge library of books around with them. Apps such as the Kindle app can also be downloaded on to many other mobile devices meaning most smart phones are capable of becoming an online library too.

If you are considering a career in publishing then there are certain skills that employers are looking out for. The ideal candidate will often need to have a good knowledge of digital literacy, an entrepreneurial mind-set, and an appreciation of changes across other media and throughout society.

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Take care what you post online if you are job hunting

Posted on July 21, 2020 at 10:14 am

If you are out of work at the moment due to the current economic situation you may be trawling the internet or the local papers to search for jobs. The process of looking for work is usually quite straightforward and generally starts with completing an application form and then, if you are fortunate enough, being called in to attend an interview, but are you aware that your potential employer may be searching for your name on the internet to find out more about your background and even about your personal life. Now although this practice seems unprofessional a lot of employers do use this strategy and so it is important to be aware that what you post on social media can be detrimental to your job prospects. An example of this may be that you post a picture of yourself on a night out with friends and then comment the next day about having a hangover and being unable to go to work. If this is a regular occurrence any potential employer may be worried about your reliability and punctuality. If your posts contain comments that may be considered racist or sexist an employer may refuse to consider you for a job because they worry about their company’s reputation if they employ you.

So be aware that social media profiles should be secure and privacy levels set to prevent unwanted intrusion into your personal life.

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