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The Career Farm | Take the fast track to the career you want | with Jane Barrett
32 minutes | Mar 26, 2019
94: How Eating the Right Foods Makes You More Productive with Graham Allcott
I spoke with author, Graham Allcott about his latest book, Work Fuel: The Productivity Ninja Guide to Nutrition, which he’s co-authored with nutrition expert, Colette Heneghan. It’s not the usual “foodie” or recipe book. Instead, it’s about getting the most energy from your food, whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or omnivore, so you can use that energy to be more productive. Life-changing, right? Don’t worry, you don’t have to make too many changes all at once. Here’s how you can start: Follow the five-ingredient rule. When you’re shopping, try to avoid those foods with a long list of strange-sounding ingredients. Graham suggests a limit of five with a general rule: the simpler the better. Teach yourself Ninja preparedness. If you have good food in the house, you’ll eat better so keep your cupboard stocked with basics like lentils, kidney beans and coconut milk or whatever suits you. You can add these to your fresh ingredients and have a quick, healthy meal even when you’re tired or stressed. Also, think ahead when you're cooking and make a little extra for lunch the next day or to freeze for another time. Learn about good snacking. Graham and Colette are big believers in eating three healthy meals a day and recommend that you try not to eat in between, which promotes good digestion. Travelling can be disruptive though, so try taking some energy-boosting foods with you like mixed nuts. Graham’s secret tip is to take an avocado along. Slice and add it to your airline meal to ramp up the nutrition and flavours. And don’t forget to hydrate! The book is full of practical ways to change your diet and energy levels for the better. You can find it in bookshops, at hive.co.uk, or on Amazon. For more tips, check out Graham’s book, Work Fuel: The Productivity Ninja Guide to Nutrition or Graham's website Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all of them, I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review. The post 94: How Eating the Right Foods Makes You More Productive with Graham Allcott appeared first on The Career Farm.
27 minutes | Feb 21, 2019
93: How To Get an Informational Interview – with Matthew Du Pont
This month’s podcast is with Matthew Du Pont, author of How to Get First-Round Interviews at Tech Companies, The Unusually Difficult Guide. Most people have an idea about interviewing for a specific job but I spoke with Matt about informational interviews, which are different. Informational interviews serve the dual purpose of helping you learn about a potential career while establishing connections within that particular industry. Often, people don’t know where to start the process, including who they should approach and how. Matt's book is loaded with practical tips so you'll want to read them all. But here are three great ideas you can start thinking about: Find the right person to interview. You may not have much experience in the area you’re trying to enter so a personal connection can help. Locating someone who is working in your area of interest is a great start. Find the right company. Interviewing someone who currently works at your company of interest or who is a former employee can give you lots of insights about what challenges that company is currently facing or might face in the future. Have the right conversation. When someone agrees to spend 15 minutes speaking to you, you need to make your questions count. Do your research and be specific. Try to find similarities with the person which you can build a conversation on because it shows you’re serious and makes a great impression. Then, if they get the chance to recommend you, it’s more likely they will. Useful Resources For more about informational interviews go to Matt's website where you can use discount code CAREERFARM for 25% off his book. More helpful resources: See Matt's guide for How to write forwardable introductions and How to find someone's email address Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all of them, I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review. The post 93: How To Get an Informational Interview – with Matthew Du Pont appeared first on The Career Farm.
32 minutes | Jan 24, 2019
92: How Do I Move from Employee to Entrepreneur? with Steve Glaveski
I spoke with Steve Glaveski, Author and CEO, about being an entrepreneur; something in which it’s safe to say he’s an expert. He made the leap from a comfortable, corporate environment to a start-up of his own about seven years ago and he has no regrets.Lots of people dreaming of doing the same have asked Steve how it’s done, which inspired him to write his book, Employee to Entrepreneur, available now. If you’ve thought about a start-up of your own, this could be your manual of how to go about it. The book is loaded with tips but three big takeaways to start are: The importance of experimentation What are the best ways to learn what works and what doesn’t work? The answer is to try your ideas. Steve has some practical suggestions on how to set up test situations which will give you valuable information fast. You can take it and run with it. A case for a six-hour work day Being an entrepreneur is hard work but managing your productivity is important. Repetitive, formulaic tasks can and should be outsourced. Spend your time doing high-value tasks that will take the business forward. See links below for more details. Just what makes a good entrepreneur You’ve got the dream and you’re ready to make a change but some people don’t deal with risk very well—their brains just aren’t programmed for it—so what are the choices if it turns out entrepreneurship isn’t your best option in changing career? Steve’s book has an entire chapter on alternatives to entrepreneurship for when breaking out on your own might not be the best route to take. To learn more about Steve, go to: www.employeetoentrepreneur.io/ www.collectivecampus.com.au To read Steve’s article on the 6-hour work day click here. Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all 92, I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review. The post 92: How Do I Move from Employee to Entrepreneur? with Steve Glaveski appeared first on The Career Farm.
28 minutes | Dec 27, 2018
91: How I travel the world looking after pets and retrained to be a Social Media Manager later in life with Angela Laws
In this podcast episode, I spoke with Angela Laws, Social Media Manager for Trusted Housesitters Ltd., a company based in Brighton but connected to pet lovers all around the world. Angela has been with Trusted Housesitters since it started 8 years ago with just three people. Now they’re employing 58 and Angela assures me that hers is the best job in the world. As Social Media Manager, a key part of her job is managing Trusted’s community of pet lovers, which she describes as a special group of people—particularly empathetic, supportive and engaged. I was interested in finding out how Angela got into her current position as Social Media Manager and what it takes to be successful when changing direction, especially moving into areas of new technology, which some people new to the field might find intimidating. Here are 3 things I took away from our discussion: Age Doesn’t Matter Social media, to many people, seems to be the domain of the young but Angela knows that things work best within a trans-generational dynamic. Experience counts! The key in a successful business is teamwork where everyone has something different to bring to the mix. If Angela’s age is greater than other Social Media Managers, she wears it as a badge of pride. She’s evangelical that anyone at any age can learn new skills. Know Your Product Inside Out At the bedrock of your strategy, you’ve got to know your product and your audience. Angela’s passion for pets is evident and it goes to the very core of her job and is the key to connecting with her audience. She answers every comment Trusted Housesitters gets on social media which can be a 24/7 committment but worth it. Her advice? Develop your content with flair and creativity and use social media platforms to reach out and maintain the connection with your community, which is the ultimate customer service. Value your Experience Social Media Management is all about communication. What Angela does for Trusted Housesitters is a continuation of the PR and Marketing work she’s done throughout her previous career working for big brands. The difference is that technology offers more opportunities to reach today’s target audience. You know your product and your audience and you’ve got communication skills—just add the social media tools available today. How to develop your social media skills? Angela doesn’t recommend any single source for learning about social media because each business is different so one size does not fit all. She recommends you look around and explore various sites to find what resonates. If you know your product, you’ll find what works for you but you might start by checking out the basics on YouTube or Social Media Examiner. To find out more about Angela's community check out the Trusted Housesitters website. Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all 91, I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review. The post 91: How I travel the world looking after pets and retrained to be a Social Media Manager later in life with Angela Laws appeared first on The Career Farm.
32 minutes | Nov 29, 2018
90: What’s it really like to be a coder, Careers in Software Development
38 minutes | Oct 26, 2018
89: How to use LinkedIn effectively to job search plus new features you need to be aware of with Mark Williams
This episode's guest, Mark Williams, is known as “Mr LinkedIn” because he’s an expert on how to get the most from the platform. Whether you are promoting your business or seeking a change in career, Mark knows what you should be doing and what you should never do in order to make the most of what LinkedIn has to offer.In this episode he shares with me a few of his hints and tips on using LinkedIn in a job search. Common mistakes First off, we talked about some of the mistakes Mark sees people making on LinkedIn. The biggest mistake Mark sees is when people use LinkedIn as some sort of a job board, which it isn’t. Most people on LinkedIn are not actively recruiting. Instead, LinkedIn is a live, active business network which should be approached as if you were attending a networking event. Keep in mind how you would behave at a networking event and adopt a similar strategy--you are networking, not job-seeking. In other words, your goal is to become better known and more visible, and ultimately to build useful relationships. Another mistake Mark sees is often in the ways people issue invitations to connect. How to do this effectively? An invitation should be customised every time which means you need to make it personal. A “canned” pseudo-customised invitation is sometimes worse than no customization at all, so don’t be tempted to try an automated short-cut. Do some research and provide a context. If a connection could be an important one, you might want to try following them first. That way when you issue your invitation you will know something about that person and you can be recognized enough that your invitation is more likely to be accepted. And when they do accept, your follow-up needs to make it clear that you’re not asking them for something. Now you have a connection you can engage with. Engagement According to Mark, engagement builds relationships, very important when you are job seeking or looking at career change. Engagement comes from your activities on LinkedIn: liking, commenting, @Mentioning (sparingly), and setting out your expertise in written articles. Mark’s recommendations are that articles are important but don’t need to be done too often. His view is 4-5 per year are sufficient. When you’ve sparked some interest in your profile so someone checks it out, your latest article will be visible and they can read the others as well. Relationship building comes more from commenting and liking posts, and occasionally tagging (@Mentioning) appropriate connections when doing so helps them in some way. Another tip from Mark is to curate your feed. In other words, hone it down to relevant topics of interest. Be a little ruthless. If someone is constantly posting things you’re not interested in, unfollow or click “I don’t want to see this again.” Make your feed interesting. Mark’s focus is always about how to get noticed on LinkedIn. “Without visibility, it is really hard to develop the credibility and authority that you need to win more business.” By following his suggestions, you can take advantage of the opportunities available. Are Premium Accounts Worth it? A final bit of good news is that Mark doesn’t think it’s necessary for job-seekers to upgrade to a Premium account. If you do decide to upgrade for whatever reason, don’t accept the default position to pay for a full year up front. Chances are if you’ve followed Mark’s advice, you won’t still be looking for a job in a year’s time. LinkedInformed Podcast To hear more from Mark, subscribe to his podcast: LinkedInformed @ LinkedInformed.com Or email him at email@example.com About the Grow Your Own Podcast The Grow Your Own Podcast is sponsored by Career Maximiser, an online course I have developed to help you take charge of your career. The course takes you step by step through the process of deciding on your next career move and how to successfully market yourself to employers. No more confusion, no more guessing, it’s based on 18 years of tried and tested careers advice which will give you the clarity and the confidence you need to stand out to recruiters. If you'd like to find out more, head over to careermaximiser.com Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all 88, I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review. The post 89: How to use LinkedIn effectively to job search plus new features you need to be aware of with Mark Williams appeared first on The Career Farm.
34 minutes | Sep 27, 2018
88: Career Advice from Graduates 10 years out of University With Paul Murphy
My guest in this episode is Paul Murphy, author of 1000 Years of Career Advice, based on interviews with 100 graduates about their work experiences in the 10 years following university. Paul has over 10 years of experience working in various finance roles for multinational firms. He qualified as an accountant (ACA) while working with a big 4 professional services firm in their advisory department. He is also a qualified project manager (Prince 2), programme manager (Managing Special Programmes), and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. He was inspired to write this book while he was working in finance in a career field which his parents had encouraged, but not in something he felt particularly passionate about. He realised that many of the people he knew also found themselves led into careers more by circumstances than by their own design. Was he alone in not liking what his career had become? He investigated to find out and--spoiler alert: his situation wasn’t unique or even unusual. When I spoke with Paul, he shared his findings on why people end up in a place they never intended and what they can do about it. The Choices we Make Paul’s interviews reveal so much about careers in the real world because they reflect real experiences. There’s also invaluable advice for people who want to make a career change and for new graduates (or about-to-be graduates) who want to move into a career they love. For the lucky few who are inspired from a young age or who have a great passion or talent, choosing a career is easy. However, Paul found that most people aren’t in that situation. He found that ten years down the career road, some people felt trapped, that maybe it was too late to start over again. Paul’s advice in that situation? Look forward. Don’t worry about the sunk costs/years. If you really want to, it is not too late to change career. Advice Paul’s interviews are individual case studies in how to shape your career. Some of his tips are: Get as broad an experience as possible, especially in your twenties, so you get a good idea of what you do and do not like. It’s a great time to give things a try before you get too many responsibilities. Network—that is, don’t be afraid to get in touch with people to learn about what they do. Most people love to talk about themselves and will be happy to tell you about the highs and lows in their jobs, and practical issues you may not have thought about. Do things which make you uncomfortable. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and what suits you. Travel and get experience from around the world to learn about different processes and cultures and how things work. Inertia Paul also stressed that you shouldn’t stay in one place too long. If after two years you’re no longer learning and you don’t see a way ahead, think about making a change. Make Your Own Work Experience My favourite tip from Paul is an inventive way to get work experience by volunteering your social media skills to small businesses who may lack that expertise. Agree to work for two weeks to get their online presence established. It’s an excellent way to get useful work experience and gain great business insight. For more on career paths check out Paul’s website 1000yearsofcareeradvice.com 1000 Years of Career Advice by Paul Murphy is available from Amazon. About the Grow Your Own Podcast The Grow Your Own Podcast is sponsored by Career Maximiser, an online course I have developed to help you take charge of your career. The course takes you step by step through the process of deciding on your next career move and how to successfully market yourself to employers. No more confusion, no more guessing, it’s based on 18 years of tried and tested careers advice which will give you the clarity and the confidence you need to stand out to recruiters. If you'd like to find out more, head over to careermaximiser.com Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all 88, I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review. The post 88: Career Advice from Graduates 10 years out of University With Paul Murphy appeared first on The Career Farm.
34 minutes | Aug 30, 2018
87: How to lead with emotional courage – with Peter Bregman
If You’re Willing to Feel Everything, You Can Do Anything! This week’s guest is bestselling author and one of Inc. Magazine Top 100 Leadership Speakers, Peter Bregman. Peter unlocks the secrets of highly successful leaders in his most recent book, Leading with Emotional Courage: How to Have Hard Conversations, Create Accountability, and Inspire Action on Your Most Important Work, which describes an overlooked and essential skill of leading at the highest levels: Emotional Courage. After 30 years of practice and exploration working with CEO’s, Peter observed the common thread holding a lot of people back. It’s the willingness to feel, what Peter refers to as emotional courage, because our willingness to feel underlies our ability to act. Without emotional courage, leaders find it difficult to handle uncomfortable situations or hard conversations like taking or offering criticism or even letting someone go. He suggests imagining a hard conversation you’d like to have and consider why you’re not having it. What stops most leaders from having those tough conversations doesn’t tend to be lack of opportunity, time, skill or knowledge. In those areas, most are well-equipped; but in addition, leaders must be willing to feel whatever emotions might result. They must make themselves vulnerable to possible feelings of failure, embarrassment, shame, responsibility, even anger on either side of the conversation which can’t be avoided. For example, if you let someone go, can you sit in the room afterwards and deal with their emotions? If we’re not willing to feel these things, we won’t have the conversation. The good news is, emotional courage is a skill and it can be learned. Peter addresses how to go about it in his book starting with what it takes to be a leader. 4 Elements of Leadership: confidence in yourself connection to others commitment to purpose emotional courage Developing emotional courage is like developing a muscle, by using it. Peter has some great tips for taking small steps, small risks, in order to develop your emotional courage muscle. One of the best is be willing to stand apart from the crowd. Every leader has got to do that. More tips: Meditation--Take that time to be who you are, giving you a sense of continuity, helps build your confidence. Connecting with others--Think of a person you want to appreciate for whatever reason. Get in touch and thank them. Don’t do or say anything else. Commitment to purpose — Say no. Some things are a distraction from what you need to achieve. Saying no to those things will keep you on the right track. If done skilfully, it can also build your connections with others. A little step each day, builds your emotional courage. Don’t Confuse Expressing Emotions with Emotional Courage Emotions can become messy and out of control. Sometimes the emotions we express might be masking the emotions we’re feeling. Anger, for example, is a common one which might emerge when we're feeling sad, upset, or unappreciated. It’s best to have no boundaries around emotional courage (willingness to feel) but to be strategic about what emotions you express. Favourite advice from Peter: "Be who you are and become who you want to be." Four Seconds to Change Your Life To listen to my previous conversation with Peter about his last book, Four Seconds to Change Your Life, click the link to the podcast. What do you think? Want to listen to some more? Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all 86, I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review and/or listen to some more episodes. The post 87: How to lead with emotional courage – with Peter Bregman appeared first on The Career Farm.
29 minutes | Jul 26, 2018
86: From a Desk and a Telephone to Floating a Business: with Jonathan Straight
Jonathan Straight is a Yorkshire-based entrepreneur, writer, photographer and television presenter. His story is a dream-come-true for entrepreneurs: Started his own business with little more than a desk, a telephone and an idea, ten years later floated that business on the London Stock Exchange. One of the most rewarding aspects of building his own business was that he was able to do it his way, eventually establishing a factory on eco principles when he set up in manufacturing after buying up segments of the supply chain in his industry. He stayed true to his principles and achieved success at the same time, a real recipe for career satisfaction. Jonathan’s story Jonathan was a rebel at school and didn’t really enjoy much of the academic side other than A-level business, which grabbed his interest. It was here that the seeds were planted which would lead him throughout his career. His ambition was always to own a public company and create value and equity. His chance came when in 1993 he was working as a consultant with a plastics company in the environmental container market. They folded but he carried on with the embryo of a project, which would eventually become Straight plc. Having worked at Straight for 21 years, he delivered more than 50 million recycling bins. At least half the households in the country will have had at least one straight product at some point in time! That is pretty impressive. He sold the business and moved on to pursue his other interests including working with charities and projects he is just as passionate about. Today Jonathan is a former winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year, no surprise given his success with his best-known venture, Straight plc and his life-long love of entrepreneurship. He is currently Enterprise Ambassador for the Leeds University Business School. He’s also a director of water saving NGO Waterwise and contemporary art gallery and learning space The Tetley. He engaged as Brand Ambassador to Approved Food, a Sheffield-based food redistribution business. He is also involved with several charities including the international food waste campaigning charity, The Real Junk Food Project and creativity champions IVE. In addition, he has invested in several start-ups, including solid-state photonic cooling business Inclusive Designs Limited where he chairs the board. Where does he get his energy? He loves what he does, which is probably key. Also, it may have to do with power naps because he is a big fan. According to Jonathan, 15 or 20 minutes a day is key to maintaining all that creative energy. More advice Jonathan shared three of the most important “Commandments” of business: Never, never, never give up Share and give of your time, money and expertise Be honest and truthful; Your business is your reputation Jonathan takes inspiration from his favourite business book, Hegarty on Creativity: There Are No Rules by John Hegarty He also likes to remind himself of this quote: “You might not realise it when it happens but a kick in the teeth might be the best thing for you.” Walt Disney And finally, "If you can dream it, you can do it." Walt Disney What do you think? Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all 86, I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review. The post 86: From a Desk and a Telephone to Floating a Business: with Jonathan Straight appeared first on The Career Farm.
27 minutes | Jun 28, 2018
85: How to Keep your Audience Awake Using Humour: with Jeremy Nicholas
It’s always a pleasure to speak with Jeremy Nicholas, experienced BBC broadcaster, speaker, speaking coach, MC, Compere--the list goes on! I was lucky to catch him before he heads north to debut his comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe in August (more details about that later) to ask him for a few tips on how to use humour in business presentations. Incorporating wit into your business presentation will make it more engaging for your audience. With most people having an active attention span of about 20 minutes maximum (the reason Ted Talks are 18 minutes) humour is a great way to keep the audience listening and interested. It’s not about doing stand-up and certainly not about becoming a clown. In a business context there is a balance to be struck between using humour to improve your presentation and being a total comedian where you might lose some business credibility. It’s also not about saying anything in the interests of humour which might be interpreted negatively by the audience. You’re not entertaining your mates in the pub so think about how your audience could react to anything you plan to say. It’s about being appropriate and sensitive to the setting. Some Do’s & Don’ts If you know that you are not a naturally funny person, don’t force it. You’ve got to be comfortable but Jeremy is clear that anyone can learn to be funnier than they are. Try to stay away from using puns—they generally don’t work. Also, don’t tell actual jokes as such. That is, don’t say, “Did you hear the one about…” Instead, tell any “jokes” you want to use as part of a story. Always observe the timing rule—when you do say something funny, pause. The pause gives people the permission and the opportunity to laugh. Tip: If you find that delay difficult, take a sip of water to take the pressure off. Try using the rule of 3’s, an effective technique in speaking generally. To use it humorously, the 1st thing you say sets up a pattern, the 2nd thing reinforces it and the 3rd completely subverts the pattern. Breathe! Slow, deep breaths will improve your speaking voice and give you gravitas. You don’t want anyone to miss the punchline! Jeremy’s show, After Dinner Stories from my Disastrous Broadcasting Career, will be at the Edinburgh Fringe every day at 1:30pm, 1st-27th August at The Gilded Balloon Teviot Links Jeremy’s website: www.jeremynicholas.co.uk Jeremy’s favourite humorous presentation: Sir Ken Robinson (go to ted.com) Jeremy’s favourite book on the subject: Be a Great Stand-up: Teach Yourself by Logan Murray For more details on how to warm up your voice and more check out Jeremy’s YouTube Channel What do you think? Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all 84, I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review. The post 85: How to Keep your Audience Awake Using Humour: with Jeremy Nicholas appeared first on The Career Farm.
29 minutes | May 25, 2018
84: Find out if you’ve got what it takes for a career in coding – with Chris Hill of Northcoders
26 minutes | Apr 26, 2018
83: Turning a passion into a successful career, with Matt Porter of Sportive HQ
My guest this month is entrepreneur Matt Porter, founder of Sportive HQ. Matt talks about his route to career success, which in many ways sounds as gruelling as the cycle racing he organises! I was inspired by his optimism, flexibility and pure grit and I think you will be too. Sportive HQ specialises in creating and directing sportives (that’s a non-competitive, long-distance cycling event for those unfamiliar) for cyclists of all abilities. Cycling has been a serious interest for Matt for many years so starting a business so close to his heart was a big driving factor. The good news is he still likes cycling - making a career from his hobby hasn’t put him off! Matt’s Career Track Matt spent 10 years in account management for a car leasing company until the company went into administration and changes across the industry meant jobs like his were being phased out. One thing he took away from that position was a realisation that he enjoyed and had a talent for working with people face-to-face. But with his first child on the way, the need to move to another position quickly took precedence and Matt had to be flexible. Six short weeks later Matt had passed all the tests he needed to in order to start working as an HGV driver; however, after 9 months doing that his employer closed down and once again Matt was forced to ask “What next?” Agency driving meant flexibility for the entire family and enabled Matt’s work schedule to accommodate childcare and his wife’s career. Ultimately it also provided the flexibility he needed to launch Sportive HQ and see that it was established before he phased out HGV driving completely. Sportive HQ One of the biggest hardships for Matt during his driving days was not being able to ride his bike. He missed it hugely, even as he was organising charity cycle rides which raised thousands of pounds each year for good causes. At this same time, costs to riders for commercial events (sportives) were increasing, which meant many cyclists were losing interest in taking part. Matt Porter (far left) Here Matt spotted an opportunity. Instead of taking the view others were taking—this is too expensive, I’m not doing it anymore—he thought “I can do this better and cheaper.” Matt decided to transfer his organisational experiences from the charitable cycle ride sector into the commercial sector. The result was Sportive HQ. He started with one event in the first year (while still driving full time) then stepped up to three events the next year (driving part-time), ploughing all the proceeds back into the business. Since then, Matt has focused solely on developing Sportive HQ. Lessons Learned The upshot of the story for Matt, like many people who make a big career change, is that the process is often more evolutionary than seismic. Sometimes the best-made plans are derailed by the unexpected and require creative alternatives. So if you’re thinking of changing career, be prepared to work in phases, be resilient and make a plan based on what you know about yourself and what you want to achieve. Ultimately, like Matt, don't be afraid to make a new plan if that's what it takes. Links Sportive HQ Contact Matt on Linkedin Thanks to Matt for sharing his story with us. Could you help? Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all 83 (!) I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review. The post 83: Turning a passion into a successful career, with Matt Porter of Sportive HQ appeared first on The Career Farm.
33 minutes | Mar 29, 2018
82: How to develop and launch your independent consultancy business, with David Mellor
David Mellor is an author of three books and an expert advisor working with career changers keen to use their industry experience to make money in their own businesses. He started life in the banking world where he ended up as a managing director working closely with early stage technology businesses at Deutsche Bank in an in-house strategic investment fund. He was effectively serving on the board of 15 new businesses and it was there that he found his mojo. The energetic, can-do environment surrounding those start-ups inspired him to channel his 25 years of executive experience into setting up his own business, mentoring and advising others who want to go it alone. David shares his knowledge across the spectrum of starting a business, whether you’re just beginning to explore the idea or if you’ve already made the move and want to expand or develop your company. Making the transition from corporate to consultancy - 3 big mistakes I spoke to David about the best process for someone who might be leaving a large enterprise and about the best structure to put those independent dreams into action. There are several paths you might follow: from being a sole trader, working with associates or opening a franchise. David talked about how to decide which route is the best one for you. He focused on three major areas where small business owners or would-be entrepreneurs often come un-stuck, which he sums up as: Lack of awareness, Naivety, and Lack of discernment. 3 Essential considerations for anyone setting up a business It’s vital to inform yourself about all aspects of what your business will involve and to give an honest assessment of whether you have the skills needed to run it, what David refers to as “eyes open” and being fully aware.For example, if you’re thinking about a franchise, talk to other franchisees as part of your due diligence and make sure you are clear on what support the franchisor will and won’t provide. Understand all aspects of the business and have the self-awareness to know whether you have the skills it will require to make it a success. I know this sounds so obvious, but it's amazing how often it doesn't happen! Be street-wise about running an independent operation, especially if you are transitioning from a big corporate environment where things may be run very differently. For example, he mentioned that some entrepreneurs are taken by surprise at the speed (or lack of speed) that invoices are sometimes paid in the wider world; perhaps not a deal-breaker but something you need to be aware of. David is adamant that you should never compromise on quality in the people you surround yourself with, both internally and externally. It seems obvious that you’ll want to hire the best staff and advisors but also think about your suppliers and others who you will be dealing with. Be discerning about people and always find the best. Links David’s website is: davidmellormentoring.com His email is: David@davidmellormentoring.com Twitter: @MellorMentoring I was introduced to David through Lucy Standing, the founder of Viewvo, which shows career changers the benefits of shadowing someone in a business they are interested in doing. It’s a sort of try-before-you-buy idea, which has been successful for many people in fine-tuning their career decisions. You can find out more about Lucy and Viewvo in our podcast linked here: Pod 75 - episode with Viewvo founder Lucy Standing Viewvo website Books David is a successful author with three books under his belt, all of which address specialised aspects of establishing and developing your own business: From Crew to Captain Gives guidance to anyone considering working for themselves A Privateer’s Tale Is geared to developing a successful sole practitioner consultancy Commander of the Fleet Deals with growing your own business once it is establishe David’s favourite non-fiction book is one he makes “required reading” on all of his courses: The New Business Road Test, by John Mullins Quotes David’s favourite quote is one originally shared by his uncle: “You don’t want to end up like Christopher Columbus, who when he set off he didn’t know where he was going, when he got there he didn’t know where he was, and when he got back he didn’t know where he’d been.” For David that quote is all about putting objectives before strategy: Knowing what your destination is before you start making a plan to get there. His other mantra is “Never underestimate the ability of people to really screw up a good plan” because he has seen so many people craft an excellent business plan but then be unable to execute it. Thanks again to David for taking the time to be interviewed and for sharing his expertise so generously. What do you think? Whether this is the first episode you've come across, or if you've listened to all 82 (!) I would love to hear your feedback. Reviews on iTunes are hugely important to the success of the show, so I would be incredibly grateful if you were able to spare a minute to leave some honest feedback there. Thanks so much if you are able to help. Click here to leave a review. The post 82: How to develop and launch your independent consultancy business, with David Mellor appeared first on The Career Farm.
49 minutes | Feb 22, 2018
81: How to develop your career in an organisation, with Alison Temperley
Whether already in a career or planning to start a career in Professional Services, who couldn’t use the sage advice of a mentor for guidance on how to take the next step? In this episode I spoke to Alison Temperley, the author of Inside Knowledge: How Women Can Thrive in Professional Service Firms, about doing exactly that. Alison has over thirty years of experience in working both for and with professional service firms, where she started life as a chartered accountant. She currently leads the design, delivery and coaching of global women’s leadership programmes for Linklaters and Allen & Overy, and co-leads the global programme for Bird & Bird. She was also the coaching designer and joint programme director for the EY EMEIA women’s leadership programme for 8 years, working with Cranfield University. With a Master’s Degree in Organisational Psychodynamics, she combines practical business experience with an understanding of the driving forces that shape the careers of those who work for partnerships. Her business experience ranges from senior client-facing roles to the Head of Career Development for PwC’s EMEA tax and legal practice. That's quite a CV! So I was really looking forward to finding out more about her new book and her advice on developing a career in a large organisation. Alison’s Journey Alison was able to take advantage of the range of opportunities which exist at big professional service firms, which gave her options to explore and the ability to change direction within the firm. Realising her true satisfaction was in finding ways to get the best out of people, skill areas once thought of as “pink and fluffy” by some, she specialised in helping people shape their careers. Firms realise that soft skills in areas like leadership, client relationships, and developing yourself and others are vital to a successful business and value them accordingly. Practical advice on developing your career and thriving in an organisation Drawing on her industry experience in career development, she wrote Inside Knowledge, which explains how both men and women can achieve their long-term goals and avoid many of the pitfalls she has observed. In some areas, she gives advice more particular to the unique issues women face. Some might surprise you, some may be all too familiar. Alison offers strategies you can put into action today.... Take an organised approach to developing your career Set up a development file where you collect appraisals, feedback and other relevant information, just as you would do for an important client. This organisation is at the heart of giving your career the attention it deserves, an ongoing process. Know what you’re aiming for Start thinking early about what you will be assessed on—at the beginning of the appraisal year. Be proactive in gathering your own evidence long before you walk into that appraisal meeting and both you and your manager will get more out of the process. Knowing what you have done well and less well, along with what you want short-term and long-term career-wise is key, with a balance of emphasis across the four aspects. Don't spend too long focusing on what you could have done better; make sure there's enough time to cover your achievements and longer-term goals! Don't get stuck There are other issues specific to women as well, including what Alison referred to as getting stuck being the “good girl,” doing the work that is key to an organisation’s success but tends to be “unseen.” Two solutions if you are caught up in this situation: Either suggest that it is time somebody else does these crucial but unseen jobs, or If you must do them, make sure that the value of those jobs is appreciated and recognised. Talk about your ambitions Alison stresses how important it is for both men and women to talk about their ambitions, something she has observed that is often more difficult for women to do without fearing being branded as “pushy”. There is a balance to be achieved and an awareness that professional firms want good, ambitious people of both sexes. It’s up to you to talk about what you have already achieved and what you want to achieve in the future. Be aware of the politics Politics is unavoidable, especially in consulting partnerships. It is key to understand the environment around you. Determine where the real power lies in an organisation and what the actual agenda is. Keep communicating Your manager is not a psychic. He or she will be relying on you to provide as much information as you can about yourself. It’s all about taking responsibility and being a proactive communicator. Make sure the right people know about what you have achieved. Other advice we cover in the podcast: Finding a mentor and establishing a development network (if you'd like to find out more about this, check out Podcast 22 - "creating your personal boardroom") Understanding the difference between 'supporters' and 'sponsors", and why you need both! Why you need to think carefully about the alliances you make There's so much valuable stuff in here, we could have talked for hours! Thanks again to Alison for sharing so much of her expertise and experience. Links Contact Alison at: atdpartners.co.uk Books Inside Knowledge: How women can thrive in professional services firms, by Alison! Your Brain At Work, by David Rock Quotes "We should always three friends in our lives; one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow, one who walks beside us who is with us every step of our journey, and one who we reach back for and bring along after we've cleared the way" Michelle Obama "Forget pretty, be magnificent" Angelica Houston A great tool to help you with your career planning As I mentioned on the podcast, this Summary Sheet download is a great way to start planning the next phase of your career. Filling in the sheet will help you to create a framework that you can use to consistently evaluate different career options. It will also help you to gather the evidence you need to perform better at applications and interviewers - employers and managers love candidates who have done some career thinking and know what they want! Hope you find it useful! Click Here To Get The Summary Sheet The post 81: How to develop your career in an organisation, with Alison Temperley appeared first on The Career Farm.
45 minutes | Jan 25, 2018
80: Stand out as a candidate applying to Financial Services companies and Business Schools – with Pascal Michels
In this episode I'm joined by Pascal Michels, Head of IESE MBA Admissions, who talks about his varied career. He shares his experience of moving into finance after an MBA and offers advice about how candidates can make the best impression when applying to top business schools like IESE. Pascal’s career can be divided into phases. The first, in Internal audit, culminated at the European Commission and fulfilled his personal goal which was to achieve international diversity in his professional life. However, it was also here that he realised his mind-set was not that of a civil servant and he wanted a different direction. At that point, like many career changers, he chose to do an MBA. The MBA became the perfect bridge, enabling Pascal’s move from public to private sector and his physical relocation from Brussels to London at Citibank. Working in financial services at CITI he followed his natural interests and got involved in recruiting for the financial management program on campuses. This experience led him to move into career coaching in the financial services area for IESE and his eventual advancement to head of MBA admissions there. Hints on the application process A lot of “bright sparks” apply for MBA programs. How can you be different? In the podcast Pascal shares his hints for how candidates can differentiate themselves so they stand out from the pack of highly-qualified individuals where intellectual ability is only the start. What can you do to differentiate yourself and what should you not do during the application process? He shares what works and what he has seen go spectacularly wrong. Financial careers require more than just technical ability If you’re interested in going into the financial sector after an MBA then according to Pascal it's probably a given that you have the technical skills to succeed. Recruiters will be looking for more, and communication skills are high on the list of requirements (among others he talks about). Understanding the power of networking and how to benefit from what he calls “the network effect” is hugely important, and personal branding also plays a role. You’ll want to look at your CV again after you hear Pascal’s take on what impresses and stays with an interviewer long after the interview itself. Book Pascal enjoys reading fiction and has often found that literature resonates in the business world. He imagines business schools incorporating literary works into business courses in the future. He recommends Malcolm Gladwell’s "The Outliers" as an interesting read about success. Quote "Youth is wasted on the young", George Bernard Shaw Pascal sees too many young people who spend energy keeping their options open, playing it by the book and generally being very risk averse. His advice is to be bold, say "yes", do things. Think about the great stories you’ll have to tell in the years to come! A great tool to help you with your career planning As I mentioned on the podcast, this Summary Sheet download is a great way to start planning your next career move. Filling in the sheet will help you to create a framework that you can use to consistently evaluate different jobs and career options. It will also help you to gather the evidence you need to perform better at applications and interviewers - employers love candidates who have done some career thinking and know what they want! Hope you find it useful! Click Here To Get The Summary Sheet The post 80: Stand out as a candidate applying to Financial Services companies and Business Schools – with Pascal Michels appeared first on The Career Farm.
42 minutes | Dec 28, 2017
79: What I looked for when I recruited for Uber and Booking.com – with Nicolas Buteau
From Uber to Booking.com, Nicolas Buteau is a recruiter and entrepreneur who thrives in dynamic environments as well as in more established business operations. Recruiting for startups and unicorns In this episode he shares his experiences recruiting for Uber during its transition from fast-growing start up to unicorn, and how he adapted his practices to the more established organisation at Booking.com. A common theme throughout is the role played by MBAs, who’ve proven to be hugely important in both businesses. He has recruited many MBAs over the years and knows the value they can offer; often through their ability to make sense out of chaos. As for MBA candidates, he believes they can be selective, sometimes even play hard-to-get; and if they’ve established a network to rely on spanning several different companies, there will be many advantages they can exploit. Nicolas shares his insights and top tips about everything recruiter-related from LinkedIn profiles (If yours is perfect, there’s little need for a CV anymore) to Cover letters, CV layout, salary negotiations, and even career change. He also talks about his own entrepreneurial experiences, from publishing glossy travel magazines to his latest venture which he’s described as “Uber on Acid”, a bike-sharing company setting its sights on establishing locations around the world. Having been in at the beginning with Uber and developed his own businesses, he has a wealth of experience in recruiting for fast growing technology driven companies, and generously shares that expertise. Inspirational Quote "A large chair does not make a king" Sudanese proverb. It’s in line with Nicolas’s advice to MBAs to find humility and not focus too much on titles or the trappings of success— focus instead on getting things done. Thanks again to Nicolas for coming on the podcast and being so generous in sharing his insights and experience. A great tool to help you with your career planning As I mentioned on the podcast, this Summary Sheet download is a great way to start planning your next career move. Filling in the sheet will help you to create a framework that you can use to consistently evaluate different jobs and career options. It will also help you to gather the evidence you need to perform better at applications and interviewers - employers love candidates who have done some career thinking and know what they want! Hope you find it useful! Click Here To Get The Summary Sheet The post 79: What I looked for when I recruited for Uber and Booking.com – with Nicolas Buteau appeared first on The Career Farm.
34 minutes | Nov 24, 2017
78: How my MBA prepared me for a successful career in Consulting – with Surbhi Dhir
How an MBA transformed Surbhi's consulting career Surbhi completed an MBA 9 years ago and went into consulting, moving from Accenture to Ernst & Young in 2013. She thought the MBA was an opportunity to open doors and found it to be life-changing. In fact, in her words, an MBA is not a degree, it’s a transformation. An experience beyond modules, methods and projects, it which will transform you if you allow yourself to be transformed. To get the most from her MBA, Surbhi started with self-examination, determining what motivated her and what she found important and interesting as well as her core values. Doing the groundwork paid off for her with great results. Some of the most important elements she learned from the MBA were time management, strength management and emotional management, but perhaps most importantly, it contributed to her maturity and ability to understand, respect, and work with different cultures. With 27 nationalities in her class, she developed the ability to work with people from all walks of life and get her message across, then to go back with her team and modify her points. Consultancy is about working with others as a team (the clue is in the name) and without developing those abilities you will only go so far in the field. Which brings us nicely to what Surbhi describes as, post MBA, her “calling”—consultancy, which has provided her with a very satisfying career. For more examples of careers in Consulting, click here to get case studies from all the top firms The pros and cons of a career in Consulting If there is never an ideal day in consulting. What is it that makes a good consultant? The ability to work with other people is a must. Add to that: Versatility -- Which Surbhi ties to elements of personality, for example, how you go about getting the same message across to different audiences. (a junior member of staff vs a senior client) Adaptability – Which Surbhi associates with the career element. How well do you cope with the different situations you will be working in? Communication skills, written and oral, are extremely important, as is enjoying your team, especially since you will spend so much time in their company. Also, it helps if you enjoy travelling! In this episode, Surbhi shares more hints for consulting success and achieving the all-important work/life balance, the holy grail in this busy field. She’s honest about the downsides too. Surbhi has a refreshing take on what to consider when going for promotion, how to build a specialism and the importance of using both experience and contacts. Perhaps more important than what you know about your speciality is who you know and how they can help you. Surbhi's career Analyst - Schlumberger Consultant - Accenture MBA - Leeds University Business School Senior Consultant - Accenture Engagement Manager - Ernst & Young Surbhi's personal blog World on Heels Consulting Case Studies Get the case studies Join the Facebook Group If you're interested in studying for an MBA to help you reach your career goals, come and join the group. If you've got questions about how best to use your MBA to further your career, or even if you should be doing an MBA at all, this group's for you. I'll be in there regularly to answer your questions and share resources, and there will be a community of people who can offer you support, encouragement and the benefit of their collective experience. As Surbhi said, it's all about making connections, some come and join us and kick start your career plans. Click here to join the Facebook Group The post 78: How my MBA prepared me for a successful career in Consulting – with Surbhi Dhir appeared first on The Career Farm.
40 minutes | Oct 26, 2017
77: Using an MBA to raise millions in funding and start two extraordinary social enterprises – with Todd Hannula, founder of Shine and daCunha
After getting his Executive MBA at Georgia State University, Todd Hannula found himself in the usual post-MBA corporate gig. Living in a small New Hampshire village he found that on top of his work he was spending up to 30 hours a week volunteering across a whole range of areas — everything from the local historical society, the library board, to garden planning. That experience provided a watershed moment, challenging what he thought was important in life. He realised that what he really enjoyed was helping people and making a difference. A seed had been planted. A move to Europe and an introduction to social enterprise through a family member found Todd drawing on his MBA experience to successfully bid for millions of pounds to regenerate some of the most challenging urban areas in the North of the UK. Having won the funding, Todd then bid again to win some of that funding for Shine, an extraordinary social enterprise launched with his wife and business partner, Dawn (also an MBA - it's where they met!) Shine: a business with a purpose beyond profits Shine is an entrepreneurial hub housed in a converted 40,000 square foot Victorian building located in one of Europe’s most challenging neighbourhoods. It's a conference and meeting space, hosting a café with artworks throughout. It's also, frankly, a beautiful space - somewhere that lifts and inspires the entire community within which it's located. Among other things, it runs a program for female ex-offenders aimed at reducing repeat offending and at re-uniting families. Through that and its other programs, Shine fulfils Todd’s remit: a business run for profit and purpose. Todd has lots of great advice for entrepreneurs but he condensed it down to two starting points for us: Don’t hide your idea. Instead, tell others about it. You’ll find people will come out and help you implement it. Don’t expect to do it all by yourself. It takes a team to realise your dream. On the podcast he also talks frankly about the rollercoaster of starting and growing the business, including a brutally honest account of having to lay off staff when a new venture did not go to plan. What's next? daCunha! A serial entrepreneur with a passion for new ideas, it was inevitable that Shine would not be the end of Todd's story. While Dawn is now the driving force behind taking Shine to the next level, Todd is exploring his next venture, daCunha. daCunha is a business using storytelling to restore our innate curiosity and creativity; gifts we all have as children - crucial for thriving, successful and compassionate societies - but which get steadily and systematically eroded through mainstream schooling. Check out the daCunha website to read some short stories which just might change the way you think about the world. Todd's ultimate advice is to learn to let go and move forward. Don't cling to your failures. You have to fail at some point in order to have success. I hope you enjoy the episode. I guarantee you'll find plenty in there to inspire you! Links: Shine daCunha Quote: “Burn the boats” Books: "The Puritan Gift" by Kenneth Hopper & William Hopper "Small Giants" by Bo Burlingham Thanks again to Todd for his warmth and honesty, and for taking the time to share his story. Keep in touch Don't want to miss a blog or podcast? Then join the Career Farm community to get regular updates. Join to get updates The post 77: Using an MBA to raise millions in funding and start two extraordinary social enterprises – with Todd Hannula, founder of Shine and daCunha appeared first on The Career Farm.
45 minutes | Sep 28, 2017
76: What recruiters REALLY care about – with Zena Everett, Author of Mind Flip
In this episode, I speak with Zena Everett, author of Mind Flip. Zena talks about becoming an author and shares some of the wisdom she’s gleaned from her years in recruitment, her Masters in Organisational Psychology and more recently, her coaching, which she boils down to helping people in their careers. Sounds simple, but we know it isn’t. Recruiting Recruiters In her early career as a recruiter of recruiters, Zena began to wonder exactly what it was which made the difference to career success. Why did some candidates and employees soar while others muddled along? She decided the answer can be summed up in a word: Marmite. Zena’s advice is “Be Marmite, not vanilla”. Her experience shows that the best candidates, the “Marmite” candidates, are definite and specific about what they want and how their skills will add value. The good news is this means you don’t need to talk too much about yourself. Instead, you need to be able to speak in factual terms about raw skills. This means dropping the generic leadership language like “I’m a great communicator” and instead seeing yourself from the company’s point of view, being able to say what your expertise can do for them. It's not all about you Zena sold her recruitment business to do her Masters and loves her current career helping people achieve their career goals. She focuses on function, facts and confidence, among other techniques, and has some tips on how to act with confidence whether you feel it or not. There’s so much good advice in the podcast over all aspects of changing or developing your career but one of my favourites is Zena’s reminder that when it comes to careers, it’s not all about you! Quote: Vicky Osborne’s Meeting Etiquette: POST (Purpose, Objective, Structure, Time) Links: Zena's website Books: 'The Four Hour Work Week' by Tim Ferriss Thanks again to Zena for giving up her time to come on the podcast. Quick Guide to UK Headhunters and Recruitment Agencies As I mentioned on the podcast, if you'd like a copy of my quick guide (2 pages!) to UK Headhunters and Recruitment Agencies, you can grab that here... Click here for the Guide Keep in touch Don't want to miss a blog or podcast? Then join the Career Farm community to get regular updates. Join to get updates The post 76: What recruiters REALLY care about – with Zena Everett, Author of Mind Flip appeared first on The Career Farm.
42 minutes | Aug 24, 2017
75: Why job shadowing is a crucial step for your career change – Lucy Standing of Viewvo
Led by her love of psychology, Lucy Standing put her successful career as a head-hunter on hold to pursue her passion through a Master’s Degree. Afterwards, she honed her skills further as a graduate recruiter for investment banks. It’s an expensive and time-consuming process and she realised that the traditional series of interviews didn’t always yield the best results. Seeing that former interns had a higher success rate in terms of job matching and staying power, Lucy developed new processes at the bank which helped target candidates whose skills and abilities were best suited to the jobs they were applying for. For many, it was the first time they’d been given the chance to really understand the job they would be doing, and getting a feel for the job proved the key to success. Viewvo - job shadowing for career change success Lucy’s combination of her love of psychology and the recruitment process provided the insight which led her to set up her business, Viewvo, specialising in job shadowing and career change, an increasingly common occurrence, as Lucy observes: “This is going to be a massive issue. As we all age, we will all be changing careers several times.” from the Viewvo website Lucy’s advice if you are looking for career change: Think about what you really enjoy. Most of us have some ideas of what we do and don’t want to spend time doing by the time we’re thinking about a change. Try it out for a day to get a real flavour for the job you think you’d like to work in. Job shadowing could be the key to career change success. The job you’ve always dreamed of may not be what you thought it would be. Much better to find out before you make a big move. Viewvo works with over 100 mentors and experts who offer their experience across a wide array of careers including interior design, brewing, hospitality, fashion and café ownership. You’re able to get an insider’s view and ask all the questions you need to find out if this is the job change for you. Whether or not you end up living the dream, Lucy’s advice is to give it a try for a day. Quote: If the human brain was simple enough to understand, we would be too simple to understand it Links: Viewvo The Association for Business Psychology Wordswag Books: 'Thinking Fast & Slow', by Daniel Kahneman 'The Count of Monte Cristo', by Alexander Dumas Thanks again to Lucy for giving up some of her holiday to join us on the podcast. Keep in touch Don't want to miss a blog or podcast? Then join the Career Farm community to get regular updates. Join to get updates The post 75: Why job shadowing is a crucial step for your career change – Lucy Standing of Viewvo appeared first on The Career Farm.
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