What are your work values and why are they important?

Values are qualities considered to be the most important guiding principles that help set priorities in your career and life. They are highly personal and define what is purposeful and meaningful to you. Though values may change in response to life circumstances, they are generally thought to be enduring and provide a compass for setting goals and making decisions.

Identifying your values can help you identify what activities and environment you might enjoy working in, focus your career aims and understand the motivators that might drive your career choice

Would earning a lot of money make you happy? Despite the phrase, “money makes the world go around” it generally doesn’t lead to job satisfaction. It’s important to consider what you enjoy and what you want from a career while thinking about your future.

Values are the things that are really important to you. They are also the things which are important to organisations and you may see them proclaimed on websites. Many organisations are beginning to recruit people who seem to have values which are in line with theirs.

Here are some examples of things you may value:- Creativity – Autonomy – Justice – Fun – Achievement – Using skills – Continuous learning – Security – Work-Life balance – Money – Status

Some values are likely to be more important to you than others so that, for example, you may be willing to sacrifice ‘security’ in a job for ‘creativity’.

Finding a job which suits you can help to give you job satisfaction and feel happier.

Imagine going to work every day and feeling proud of what you achieve. You are doing something that is important to you and you strongly believe it is worthwhile. You feel at home in your workplace and it’s as if the job were made just for you.

Faith, Hope and (working for a) Charity….. 

Eddie Smith  BSc Mathematics graduate shares his experience of looking for a role in the third sector

As a Christian, I believe that God has called me to leave a positive impact on the world. It is my belief that this calling applies in all aspects of my life, and so when looking for and applying for graduate jobs, it was important to me that this should reflect these values. I decided to focus my search on the third sector. Christians Against Poverty was a charity I had been aware of for a while, and so one day I went onto their website to see if they had any vacancies. It was then that I first heard about their internship and upon application I was successful.

The internship first appealed to me because it will give me valuable experience in an innovative charity (which has made numerous appearances on lists of best charities to work for) and will set me in good stead for a career in the third sector which is my ultimate goal. An internship role rather than a regular job attracted me because of the additional support that will be available throughout the year. This is important to me because I am aware that the leap between full-time study and the working world is large and is something I am somewhat apprehensive about. The goal of Christians Against Poverty is to free people in the UK from the grip of poverty and debt. I will be working as an intern in the Debt Operations team, putting together payment plans and negotiating repayments. This role will enable me to use the skills developed as part of my mathematics degree, whilst helping people and making a positive impact on the lives of those most in need.”

Eddie commences as a graduate intern with Christians Against Poverty on September 3rd.

To explore your values why not have a go at an online questionnaire

 

 

Top 3 web pages all our fashion students should read!

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Getting a foot in the door of the fashion industry can be daunting. It’s an extremely competitive world which requires creativity, an ability to work alongside strategists and keep up with rapidly changing trends whilst engaging with a demanding client base always on the look-out for new and exciting creations.

That being said, fashion can be a very exciting and fulfilling career option for graduates whose love for the fashion industry is only paralleled by their determination to leave their mark on it.

Whether you’re just about to join us in Sheffield, or you’re about to graduate and are currently setting up this year’s Degree Show Fashion Show, here’s our top 3 web pages every Hallam Fashion student should read!

Number 1: Work Experience and Networking in the Fashion Industry

Summary: Work experience is crucial for entering the fashion industry and can take the form of internships, volunteering, placements, work shadowing or part-time work.

Number 2: Becoming a Freelance Fashion Designer 

Summary: It is extremely common for people working in the creative sector to be self-employed either full-time or on a part-time basis whilst combining it with employed work; the latter is known as a portfolio career. Designers tend to be independent, creative thinkers and are often self-employed and/or in occupations involving project work and short-term contracts with both small and large organisations.

Number 3: Finding and Applying for Jobs in Fashion

Speculative approaches are generally more effective ways to find jobs in the design/arts industries.  A speculative application involves approaching a company about the possibility of working for them rather than applying to an advertised vacancy. It could be an effective way to bypass the huge number of applications that any individual company may receive to one advertised vacancy. Also, remember that many SMEs (small-medium sized companies) very rarely advertise vacancies as they receive sufficient speculative applications to recruit in this way.  Fashion directories can provide a list of companies to approach!

 

 

The Fairs – from the inside, out…

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Written by Georgia Widdowson, Psychology placement student.

“Don’t miss the Part- time jobs fair tomorrow…”,
“Do you want to find a job whilst studying?”,
“Georgia, you don’t want to miss out…”

After receiving what feels like a life time of emails – similar to the above – promoting Job fairs, volunteering opportunities and undergraduate roles which will make us ‘more employable’ I thought, “Do you know what, I think I’ll take a rain check this year.”

Well, now I am kicking myself for closing a door to opportunities I had never opened my eyes to in the first place. I would always think “How is this actually going to help me? Companies won’t choose me. Employers won’t want to work around my busy University schedule.” But, I was wrong. Being on placement in the Careers Team has enabled me to experience University job fairs from the ‘inside’, where I have got my hands dirty with tasks. I now see why fairs are so important to get stand out work experience as a student. Attending a careers fair isn’t scary, its set up for us, SHU students.

Taking an undercover role as a staff member at SHU has forced me to take my fingers out my ears and listen to what employers can offer us. They DO want to help us. If I’d have never taken up a work placement role at the University careers and employability team, then the skills which I have learnt would still be buried under a towering pile of ‘denial’. I have uncovered abilities I’d never have the self-confidence to develop.

When I first arrived at my work placement, I was gobsmacked by how much work goes into the creation of job fairs for us students. The team do everything possible to help us and all the work that goes into fairs is solely with the benefit of students in mind. Without sounding biased the fairs amazing! Some quotes below from students at the recent Work While You Study Fairs can give you a bit of insight into exactly why job fairs are a must to attend…

            “Great variety and there a few companies here which I am definitely going to sign up to! There are opportunities here I didn’t think we could get involved with and get paid for.”

“Really good to be able to talk to employers in person as it’s easier to ‘sell’ yourself face to face rather than over your CV.”

            “It has been excellent! It made finding a job so easy! Everyone was really helpful.”

            “It was good because there are companies here that I wouldn’t think of applying for, so it was great to have some variety!”

These are just handful of student quotes which undoubtedly highlight how valuable, helpful, fun and eye-opening the careers fairs are!

However, I had to save the best until last…

            “We LOVE it! Loads of fun jobs and opportunities- I have signed up everywhere!”

This student was beaming like a Cheshire cat and was so enthusiastic and excited it was as if someone had told her she had landed a dream date. This really made me giggle and reminded me what exciting and interesting opportunities are handed to us at this University – we shouldn’t take them for granted!

So, when the next fairs come around,  don’t be a hermit and exchange Netflix for job finding. Find and drag yourself and your mates on campus and get involved! Whether this is talking to employers, taking leaflets or better yet, signing up to a job or volunteering opportunity! It doesn’t matter if you don’t find an opportunity; at least you got yourself out there! There’s no harm in trying and excelling yourself.

All I can think now is “I am so glad I decided to do a work placement! I’m a new ‘strong, independent woman’ who can achieve anything thrown her way!

Making it in digital marketing without a marketing degree

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Hear top tips from Creative Writing graduate, Hannah Tomaszewski about how she got into Digital Marketing, took a risk and followed her heart to career satisfaction!

Hannah TomaszewskiHow I managed to land my dream job in digital marketing with no relevant degree and very little experience!

I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in the summer of 2016 with a 2:1 Degree in Creative Writing and not much clue as to what I wanted to do next. I knew I wanted to write but couldn’t seem to figure out what route to go down. When I eventually researched marketing jobs and realised it sounded perfect for me, there was one problem – I didn’t have a marketing degree. In a world where most graduate jobs seem to require at least 2 years’ experience, it seemed impossible. Here’s how I beat the odds and managed to bag a job I’d only ever dreamed of.

What do you do and how did you end up there?

I work as a Digital Marketing Strategist for Bigfoot Digital, an award winning SEO Barnsley Agency. Worried about my lack of experience, after graduating and moving to Chesterfield, I pestered a local marketing agency to let me learn from them in exchange for witty jokes and sarcastic comments. I ended up doing some work experience with them for a month trying to soak up as much knowledge as I could. When I left, I was certain Marketing was the career for me but decided to take a break and worked in a castle hotel in Northumberland for a year – a hilariously odd yet fun experience.

I ended up back in Chesterfield and working in a marketing job that wasn’t what I thought it would be. The job was much more analysis based than advertised and I’m not ashamed to admit I was bored, uninspired and felt like I was sinking. I lasted 4 months until I took a risk, handed in my notice and left with no job lined up. I was told I was being naïve, that any job was better than none, but I followed my gut and, as I walked out on my final day, knew I’d made the right decision. I fired off what felt like millions of applications and, two weeks later, started at Bigfoot. The rest, as they say, is history!

What does an average day at work look like for you?

The thing I love most about my job is that no two days are the same. Although I mainly write content and blog posts for the website, it’s interesting to learn about the more technical aspects of digital marketing and how everyone’s roles interlink and fit together. Our office at Bigfoot is super relaxed and there’s often a background of Spice Girls to get you through the day. My colleagues all have different degrees and experience but we all share a common talent for all things marketing related and help each other out no matter what. I’m so lucky that I get to work with a load of like-minded people who genuinely get on, love their jobs and, most importantly, have a laugh!

My top tips:

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others:

It’s human nature to pit yourself against your peers, especially in a creative industry where everything is so subjective. In my office, everyone’s writing approach and styles are so different that it’s completely pointless to try and compare techniques and, often, while you’re busy being jealous of their talent, they’re thinking the same about yours.

  1. Think about what makes you different:

While I was at university, everyone was writing about serious topics while I dedicated my time to writing chick-lit, simply because I enjoyed it more! At the time, I worried that people would perceive me in a certain way, however I’ve since learnt that you should always play to your strengths. I’m proud to be individual and wrote my cover letter for my current job in my own humorous and informal voice – this is what made my boss hire me as I stood out from everyone else!

  1. Try not to panic and don’t give up.

I often still remind myself of this! The world of graduate jobs is extremely daunting! Always remember that you’re still young and no employer should expect you to know everything. When I left my previous job, I felt entirely lost and hopeless, but just weeks later I felt like a completely different person. There are great companies are out there – you’ve just got to find one!

  1. Be brave and have confidence in your own abilities:

In my first Graduate role, I shied away from speaking up and found it embarrassing to admit if I didn’t understand a task. In my team at Bigfoot, our mantra is ‘there are no stupid questions’ and it’s along these lines that I now try to live my life. Don’t be ashamed to admit if you don’t yet know something, everyone starts somewhere!

If you’re looking for marketing work experience, we’re always looking for talented individuals to join our ever-growing team so get in contact with us today!

 

#NWED2016 – National Women in Engineering Day

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Post by Level 4 Sport Technology Student student, Arona Morrison.

I chose my course, BSc Sport Technology because it combined all the subjects from school that I love and excel at, some more than others. I excelled at both design and P.E. at A-level and combined they lead me to the sports line of engineering, however my passion for science and maths was what truly pushed me to become an engineering.

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I say passion because I had to work hard at both as I often struggled in maths. I have always had a need to want to know how things work and operate and this course allows me to figure this out from looking at the materials equipment is made from to the forces acting upon each separate piece. My course specifically also looks at human anatomy and how equipment interacts with the human body, which I really enjoy.
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I hope by completing this course that in the future I will be able to get a job designing equipment specific to climbing as this another of my passions and being able to combine the two would be a dream job.

“I don’t think I would reach as high in the jobs I am looking for, if it wasn’t for all the additional help from SHU”

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Natalia (right) networking with recruiters from Enterprise Rent-a-Car at the recent Careers and Employability Awards evening.

Natalia (right) networking with recruiters from Enterprise Rent-a-Car at the recent Careers and Employability Awards evening.

Post by Level 5 Digital Media Production student, Natalia M Wesniuk.

I am a mature, Level 5 Digital Media Production student and I have been out to the ‘real world’ only to come back to the University and finish my degree. It’s a challenging world out there and the problem is that you can be qualified for the job but if you don’t know how to cope with complicated and demanding recruitment process, you may just fall short of getting your dream position.

On top of computerised, test based, long and tiered process, there is always a stress and fear factor. It’s not easy for us students out there; it’s not easy for anyone. Luckily Sheffield Hallam University offer a special preparation for its students interested in applying to large graduate recruitment schemes called ‘Career Impact’, in which Level 5 and 6 students can gain the inside full knowledge into the process of getting their dream jobs and becoming ‘graduates with more’.

For me personally, I feel like the workshops boosted my confidence and enhanced my employability skills. I had a chance to speak to the employers and realise that they actually do want us to succeed and get the job, but we just need to follow their procedures to do so. I learned a lot about graduation recruitment practices, as well as making my CV and applications stand out. Receiving guided support, helped me get my own CV up to scratch before all the careers fairs in March. I was taught about leadership development and applying for management roles. I also attended a workshop about effective networking, which enabled me to learn how to use social media into my advantage and how to extend my network in a professional manner. Most importantly I was able to face so called Psychometric Tests. Career Impact advisers gave all of us plenty of links, where we could practice and prepare before the real test itself.

I feel like I can effectively face the whole recruitment process now and a bit more practice after this boot camp could get me far. I still have the other half of the course to undergo and I am confident that with support through Career Impact I will secure a place on a Graduation Recruitment Scheme and I really do I hope I will get my dream job in the end. I would not have that much of a prospective view if not the extra help from Careers and Employability staff and their reassuring support. I really don’t think I would reach out as high in the jobs I am looking for if it wasn’t for the employability fairs and workshops and all the additional help that SHU has for its students.

Frankly knowledge is power but knowing where to apply it, in order to benefit from it and how to get where we want to be, is certainly a whole new chapter. I really do recommend all students to check their emails frequently and to sign up to additional workshops such as Career Impact as it can work a long way and make things easier.

Career Impact will open to new applicants in the autumn term, current students can find out more about Career Impact here: https://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/getting-experience/career-impact

Benefits of working for small firms during your 20’s

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liam-solomon-1Post by 2015 BA (Hons) Marketing graduate, Liam Soloman

I graduated last year (2015) from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Marketing. It was extremely daunting seeing my class mates beginning to get jobs and the pressure was building to jump into a career and start paying back those student loans.

I explored the possibility of working for a start-up after watching an inspiring talk from Jack Ma on career paths (click here to view video). In the video, the founder of Alibaba gives a powerful speech on the benefits of working for small firms during your 20’s, to learn a range of new skills, gain valuable mentoring and to be submerged in an environment of passion and desire to succeed. I can honestly say that working for a start-up has ticked all the above and more.

I had briefly worked for two large corporate entities (one in my placement year and one after graduating) and found I was very limited in regard to challenges I faced. I felt I wasn’t regularly learning new things and found it hard to make my mark in an already established company.

With this in mind, I applied for a paid internship in an exciting start-up. I was fortunate enough to get the role at Love the Sales, a company that aggregates all retail sales and displays them on their website. They have a completely unique idea which has been eye-opening to work on. The innovation and creativity in the team is contagious and you get a real sense of achievement from the effort you put into the business.

liam-solomon-2I have always worried about making mistakes when starting a new job, however, working for a start-up is a world apart from the corporate pressure and office politics you find at larger companies. In a start-up, learning is key. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is essential to improving the businesses position. So, if you do something and it doesn’t work you have still learnt something. The atmosphere in the office is always very relaxed and encouraging, the ideology of testing ideas, learning and building from them if they succeed or fail is great to be apart of.

It’s funny, when you’re sitting in a lecture half listening, wondering whether you’ll use this information at all, well, you do! It’s scary how much you recall and put in to practice when brainstorming or trying to figure out a solution to a problem.

If you’re like me and you worry about the possibility of cementing your career choice in the first job you take, then a start-up is a perfect solution to give you time to decide what you like and don’t like and where your skills lie.

Learning something new everyday, no matter how small, is so important at the beginning of your career. Since the start of my internship I have worked on social media, copywriting content, building SEO, email marketing and writing code to name a few. In this internship I’ve been able to gain an array of skills in different areas of the business, not just within a specific silo.

What’s surprised me most since working in this start-up though, is the amount of time my bosses have dedicated to teaching me new skills and enhancing my learning. It’s a very motivating feeling to have bosses that really invest in your personal development.

Now half a year on from graduation, I have progressed from an internship to an SEO executive with the company, learning valuable career skills and enjoying every minute!

Life after University: DON’T PANIC!

Ryan, an English and History student, tells us how he has come to realise that answering the question of what he is going to do with his life will take time ….

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As an English & History student in the early stages of my second year the time has come for me to confront the inescapable question that all students will have to address: “What do I want to do after I finish university?” This question is rather daunting for someone who is still coming to terms with the mystifying process of ironing. My first act was to make a list of the things that I truly enjoy: English and history (obviously), politics, music, Leadmill on a Monday and Friday, Continue reading

Torn in between: Fashion / Economics?

Stephanie Masuwa

My name is Stephanie, and I am a first year student studying BA Business Economics.

Coming to study at university was not my immediate choice as really I wanted to experience different routes and explore all my options first, because at that time I was undecided on what I wanted to study at university. So, I took a two year long gap after sixth form, during which I travelled and took part in volunteer work in Africa for three weeks and I also started working on my fashion blog. Continue reading

Choices choices… who would have guessed it?

Here Danny Farber, who is currently studying for a BA Hons in Business Studies, shares the story of his unexpected metamorphosis from ‘science geek’ to retailer extraordinaire in the making … and the influences that got him there:

One of the most important decisions in my lifetime has been what do I want to study at University!

When I was 16, I was a ‘Science geek’ who adored Motor Sport and would actually revel whenever I had the chance to talk about aerodynamics and possibilities on how to get more down force on the car (I still do by the way).  Thus when I joined Sixth Form, I studied Physics, Chemistry and Maths.  If you have never had the chance to study these, they are extremely difficult subjects to learn especially when you have all three together.

I was one of those ‘Science geeks’ who didn’t really do much revision when I had my GCSE’s but was successful, so when the first set of A-Levels exams came in the January and I had still kept the same revision timetable, it was a massive reality check. I ended up with 3 U’s, which was something I had never envisaged. So this was when I first started to question myself in my lifetime, and started to begin exploring possible other ventures. Obviously the number 1 lesson I learnt was that I had to work 100% harder, it was nowhere near the amount that I had to put in. I was well and truly humbled by this and went into my shell even more.

However, with lots more revision, when it came to the summer and after resits, I ended up with C’s across the board, which upon reflection was probably a big save after such a disastrous start. But even still, from that summer, that doubt and questioning was still on my mind. So when I had the chance to work in a supermarket part time, I grabbed it with both hands. (Luckily, my Auntie was a section leader there, so this confirms my theory, it’s who you know, not what you know).

Throughout my childhood, I was always seen as the brainy kid who is ‘useless’ working with his hands according to my Mum. So what would I be like in a Supermarket hustling and bustling to get done what was required of me? This is when I started to surprise myself and started to spot another opportunity. I found the work brilliant (and still do) and gained the confidence of my Section Leaders and Store Manager. But most importantly, my personality came out of its shell, where confident Danny was born and I would say where I began to mature even more as an adult.

So when applications for UCAS began for Universities, I had a massive dilemma! Do I go and study Orthoptics, Radiotherapy and Oncology, Motor Sports Engineering, or do I go and risk everything and go and study a subject I’ve never done at school, but have fallen in love with, due to my job? This was my list of courses I would have liked to have done, not which Universities I would like to attend, which was quite different to my peers.

You’ll have obviously guessed I risked it all. When researching all the possibilities, I noticed that the chance of me getting a job at the end of it, in that particular field, were slim. My confidence was and still is so high in Retail that I applied to study Business here. This confidence grew even more when my Manager offered me a Section Leader job a couple of weeks before A-Level results came out, but I knew University was something I wanted to do and that if I could show them how well I work, and the experience I keep gaining, to have a degree in Business at the side of my name, surely could make me a good candidate for getting one of these Manager jobs that I now crave.

So how am I getting on you ask? Quite well I would have to say. I managed to get an overall grade of 2:1 (64%) in my first year which gave me even more confidence particularly when I had achieved a higher grade compared to people who had studied Business at GCSE and A-Levels for instance. But I don’t think this is due to ability or intelligence, but the hard work ethic I have adopted since my ‘show up’ at Sixth Form and my time at ASDA. However, I would say I did significantly well because throughout my stay at University I have kept on working for my local Supermarket, balancing my time at Uni to work over 16 hours every week with a group of people who have and still give me more confidence in life, in a job that I am adore and even developing my own ideas on how I would run a Store if I ever get the opportunity (hopefully).