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

 

 

Ten graduate schemes to consider if you want to ‘make a difference’

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Summer is a good time to find, research and apply for graduates schemes. Here are ten graduate schemes which may interest you if you’re looking for something a little less ‘corporate’:

  1. Charity works
  2. LGA National Graduate Development
  3. Frontline
  4. Civil Service Fast Stream
  5. NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme
  6. Think Ahead
  7. Year Here
  8. The GEM Programme
  9. Teach First
  10. Leeds City Council Graduate Scheme

If any of these schemes interest you, it’s also looking at other vacancies with relevant employers (e.g. Civil Service, Housing Associations, healthcare providers) so you can gain some experience before you apply.

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!

Get ahead. Get International Experience

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By Nikki Abbott, Employability Adviser.

Research has found that students who have spent time abroad studying, working or volunteering during their degree are more likely to be in a higher salary graduate job, are more likely to attain a first or upper class second degree and are less likely to be unemployed.

In addition you will develop many skills sort after by employers and will gain valuable experiences to add to your CVs. By matching opportunities with your motivations and objectives, gaining experience abroad can help give you an edge.

There are a range of international experiences that could be open to you including: internships and exchanges; temporary and seasonal work; teaching English as a foreign language, and volunteering. If you are a first year student you may be able to apply to the Cantor Bursary for up to £500 to help with travel costs, accommodation and living expenses for the duration of the period of work experience.

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Look at international internships, summer work experience and volunteering opportunities offered by companies such as those referred to on Careers Central and advertised on the Careers and Employability Services’ UniHub website.

New opportunities will be added regularly up until the end of term so remember to keep checking the site.

To find out more about the wide range of opportunities open to you, visit Careers Central or speak to an adviser.

Make the most of your Summer – The Future is Yours

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What will you be doing this summer? Now’s your chance to shine and give yourself the best possible opportunity of starting a successful career by taking control of your future.

Log onto UniHub, search the jobs field with the words Summer 2017 and start building a standout CV.

Summer to remember

You can change your summer by:

  • Volunteering – Get involved in local and national opportunities which make a real impact for charities, festivals and events as well as equipping you with real world skills and experience.
  • Global Internships – Get stand-out global work experience through summer internships with organisations worldwide.
  • Cantor Bursary – Your chance to apply for a flexible bursary of up to £500 to help you experience living and working overseas.
  • Summer Campus Jobs Earn cash in a flexible and familiar environment on campus here at SHU. Be an Ambassador, a Shelver in the library, a Mentor for fellow students or a crucial part of an administration team.

This is your opportunity to get employability experience and give yourself the best possible opportunity of finding a career you love, whatever your year of study.

Be employable and make this year the one where you gain new skills and make an impact locally or globally to stand out from the crowd. 

To view these opportunities, please click here or log onto UniHub and type Summer 2017 in the jobs field.

Come to our careers fair on Thursday 23rd March

With our Spring Fair taking place on Thursday 23rd March, this is your chance to meet with dozens of local, national and international employers who are offering graduate recruitment, internship and placement opportunities.

If you want to hear five great reasons why you should attend our careers fair, have a look at the video below:

To book your attendance at the fair, please click here.

If you’re already attending, then here’s some great student tips on how to prepare for the fair!

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday 23rd March between 11am – 3pm in Hallam Hall and the Careers and Employability Centre.

How I won a £160,000 award competition for my graduate employer

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Post by 2015 BA (Hons) Marketing graduate, Liam Soloman (Marketing Executive at lovethesales.com)

Liam Soloman with the award#TEASELONDON was a Twitter competition specifically aimed at UK start-ups for London’s Technology Week. Run by a digital software company Eyetease and partnering company Verifone UK (who creat the digital advertising boards on top of London’s black cabs).

The winner would receive £160,000 worth of advertising on 200 black cabs in London. The challenge, to tweet in the reason why you think Londoner’s need to know about your start-up.

Since finding the competition through social media, I was given the amazing opportunity to come up with an entry for my employer, Lovethesales.com, and submit it through our Twitter page, using the #TEASELONDON.

Step 1 | Research

I dedicated a few hours a week looking into both Eyetease and Verifone UK, searching through press publications, previous campaigns they did with other companies to get as much background information about what they would be looking for and what type of company impressed them.

By taking note of the other entries in the competition, it appeared most start-ups didn’t fully grasp the brief given by Eyetease. Most entries tried to sell their brand, using impressive stats and numbers or pitching why their company were amazing, very much an X Factor style of entry.

Through the research and evaluation of competitor entries, I found that our best chance of winning was not showing how great our company is (which is difficult with only 127 characters) but to try and show how our advertising on their taxis can benefit different demographics on Londoner’s.

Step 2 | Implementation

I came up with a series of situations in the form of pictures, where different types of Londoner’s would need our business (see pictures of entries below). A student needing a laptop but not being able to afford paying fullprice, a mum busy with her kids not having time to go out to shop, or a girl desiring a designer dress in a shop window but finding it to be out of her budget.

In the corner of each picture I put one of Verifone UK’s black cabs with a digital advertising board on top. On the board would be a personalised lovethesale.com ad for each scenario.SLIDE

This was a succinct way of showing how we could be helpful to everyday Londoner’s whilst using an example of what it would actually look like on their black cabs, which no other entry had thought of yet.

Step 3 | Finalists

The entrants were shortlisted to 5 start-ups who would meet with the owner of Eyetease for a 15 min discussion followed by a Q&A.

There was no presentation needed, however I along with my two bosses took the initiative to create a few slides fleshing out the key points as to why we thought Lovethesales.com would work really well with their company, pointing to how we can help Londoner’s “shop more, spend less” (our company slogan).

Eyetease were extremely impressed with our initiative, eagerness and passion for what we do. Along with a few stats on Lovethesales.com’s current progression and a few anecdotes about its inception, we were delighted to be announced at London Technology week as the winners of such a mind boggling prize.

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Step 4 | What’s next?

Over the next few months I will be involved in putting together a 4-week campaign that will run over 200 black cabs in geo-targeted London locations. We expect the competition to increase traffic to the site and dramatically improve our brand awareness.

Being able to take the lead on this crucial campaign was a great feeling and one that I don’t think I would’ve been given working in a large corporate environment. The added bonus of actually winning gives me a fantastic story for my CV and great experience going forward in my future career.

I would highly recommend anyone in their first job to constantly ask their superiors for more responsibility, always be eager to take on new challenges and never be afraid of failing at a task as there is always something to learn from.

From Career Impact to a Leadership Graduate program

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Farida Tejan

Farida Tejan

Post by Public Relations and Media graduate Farida Tejan

At present, I work for Capita Resourcing- part of Capita Group Plc, a FTSE100 Business Process Outsourcing Company- on the Leadership Graduate program.

The scheme is comprised of 4 rotational placements across different business units with exposure to a diverse range of customers across public and private sectors, with on-going formal business training whilst working towards an MSc in Leadership and Management.

Having completed my first rotation with the division’s sales and marketing team, I am now holding a new business development executive role with the Write Research Company, engaging with business leaders within the consumer and services industry.

The highlights of the role include having access to and engaging with senior personnel within the Consumer and Service industry and being able to earn a commission for results delivered.

Following completing my degree, I went into a role as a Digital PR Executive at a digital marketing agency for just over a year. I was then approached for an internal Digital Marketing Executive role at Capita Customer Management where I worked across the marketing and Communications teams, implementing the online strategy and maximizing brand presence and engagement online.

I think the fact that I began my job search very early on in my final year of university attributed to my success in securing a role. Attending sessions with the career service meant that I had realistic expectations of application processes, salary and what employers were looking for. In addition to being proactive, I invested time in gaining work experience as and when I could and tried to open myself up to any opportunities.

During my time at Capita Customer Management, an internal re-structure took place that motivated me to look into other opportunities within the business. I began to consider the graduate program as a viable option as I knew one of the graduates already on the scheme. I expressed an interest to my line manager who helped me to start the process of an internal application that required me to be a graduate with a 2:1 degree. Following on from this, I had to pass personality and psychometric testing followed by a telephone interview and was then invited to an assessment centre once I passed these stages. I prepared for the psychometric tests online utilising free web databases in order to practice. A similar approach was taken for the telephone interview, where I brushed up on competency-based questions and general interview techniques. The assessment centre was harder to prepare for because I had little knowledge of what to expect, here I spoke to the graduates that I knew from within the business about their experience and tried to prepare general interview and team activity skills.

My course at Hallam really pushed me to take a proactive approach to getting organised and building up my CV in addition to our academic requirements. I think this balanced focus was really key in in preparing me to excel post-university. The sessions made available to me through Career Impact were invaluable in helping me to understand the caliber of applicant that graduate employers are looking for and how to prepare for the assessments within their application processes.

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get onto a graduate scheme or even the job of your dreams- it just gives you something to work towards. In fact, it turned out that I was completely wrong about what I initially thought of as my dream job! I found that by being open to opportunities and working hard in the roles that I did manage to get, doors opened up for me and I somehow made it onto a path that worked for me.

Product design graduates return to share their experiences

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Product Design Workshop

Post written by Caroline Hanson, Employability Adviser, Art and Design

Last month saw the first ever “Employability Week” aimed at Product and Furniture Design students, organised by senior lecturer Dean, in collaboration with industry experts and the Careers and Employability Service. The first day included three graduates from product and furniture design courses at Sheffield Hallam sharing about their current roles and career path since completing the course. Tom was using his creative skills to work as a marketing manager for Harris Brushes. He shared from his own experience about the negativity that can be faced after graduation which he called the hope/doom seesaw, to him, listening to the hopeful and aspirational voice was important to persevere through initial rejections. He encouraged students to go the extra mile at interviewing order to be memorable, for instance he designed and showed different elements of his design and marketing skills in his portfolio. Since beginning the role, it has developed greatly into a hybrid of marketing and design, he emphasised “Don’t be confined but the boundaries that are given when you secure a role.” Approaching people directly had paid off for him in the past and he even used LinkedIn to contact staff members within an organisation before the interview.

Abby had worked in a number of product design positions before her current role at W’innovate, which is a company based locally in Worksop and designs products for Wilkinsons. She has worked for in house design teams, in consultancy roles and also on a freelance basis, even having the opportunity to visit the production factories in China and gain an understanding of how her designs are manufactured. She emphasised the importance of commercial awareness, especially in consultancy roles, including being aware of the cost of the materials, the target market of your product and the selling price. Her advice for students was “Know yourself and the things you are good at and like working on, then you can sell yourself more effectively.” Her organisation is a graduate centre of excellence, offers short placements and is currently recruiting for a graduate positions of Assistant Product designer, so do take a look if you think this could be the role for you.

The afternoon session focused on portfolio development and every student had the unique opportunity to receive portfolio feedback from a professional in industry. Speaker Nick, reminded listeners that a portfolio should “Sell you, not just your products” and include broad a range of skills. As a recruiter he wanted to see your best work in your portfolio, not everything you’ve ever done, include rough sketches to show development of ideas and ensure a visual impact, by getting rid of any large blocks of text. Key advice was to “Build your personal brand and be thick skinned,” he also recommended entering design competitions open to recent graduates.

Students spoke positively about the day and went away with practical feedback on how to improve their portfolio and CVs. The remainder of the week included input from a top branding agency, practical workshops from the careers team and a boot camp for students to develop their enterprising skills, a number of students took up the offer of one to one appointments or enterprise advice to develop their plans further. Keep an eye on https://careerservice.shu.ac.uk/ to find out about other events coming up!

 

Disability, Diversity and Career Ambition  

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I caught up with Politics graduate Henna Khan, two years on from leaving Sheffield Hallam. Henna now works as an Early Talent Policy Manager with the Civil Service. We discussed how her career has progressed and how she tackled challenges through her own determination and the support of others.

Henna speaking

“My life and background is based around challenges I have dealt with threefold; my disability, my race and religion, my gender. Each stage of life I reached be it school, college, and university had its own unique challenges for me dependent on the situations and environments I entered.The one thing I refused to accept growing up was that there was a limit, an end to my ambition, I didn’t let the negativity that faced me falter my ambition. I often felt that the “barriers” I faced growing up were inflicted on me by someone else, but I quickly realised that it was me letting them create a barrier for me to then feel trapped within, it was not the way you define your life. Your actions define you and your life’s route. Because I didn’t believe in barriers, they didn’t exist when I was one of the only disabled Pakistani women who graduated with a 1st class Honours, and got onto the sixth out of top 100 graduate schemes in the country, leading changes at the heart of government on the Civil Service Fast Stream.

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 I applied for Politics at Sheffield Hallam as I was interested in the breadth of topics the course had, with modules on Anarchy, British Parliament and Failed States. When I started university I loved the diversity of knowledge the course gave me, from classic to contemporary political conversations. I was also interested in applying for the Erasmus exchange programme which took me to The Hague University in the Netherlands, where I took part in internships at the United Nations and Embassy of Pakistan. Each lecturer  challenged me intellectually and I enjoyed the environment university provided for me to nurture my academic thinking to what it is now. My university helped me in two ways, firstly student support services provided me with a bespoke learning agreement, a contract which allowed me to have access to the support I required as a disabled student. This allowed me to work in an environment where I was on equal footing with fellow peers. Secondly, the careers services my university offered provided me with various opportunities. Firstly I had a career mentor, I attended mock assessment centres, and mock interviews, and my career advisor Caroline Hanson was extremely supportive when I decided to apply for the Fast Stream.

I initially applied for the Summer Diversity Internship Scheme and a year later for the Fast Stream. For both roles I received coaching to help me prepare for the tests, the e-tray and the assessment centre, successfully securing a place within a week of my assessment day. My university equipped me with the skills I required to get the job I wanted.

After graduating I worked in the private and charity sector for a year, and then successfully applied for the Civil Service HR Fast Stream, which is one of the top graduate schemes in the country, I am currently on my first placement based in the Fast Stream Team at Civil Service Resourcing. I am due to start a HR Business and Management Masters later this month as part of my scheme. I am really enjoying my time on such a fast paced and challenging scheme, the challenges I have in this role are very unique with decisions shaping the very graduate scheme that is internationally known. The benefits of this role are also the same as the challenge, every email or meeting brings an exciting piece of work, and I look forward to coming to work every day so that I can make a change to the way the public sector works in order to make a positive impact to this country.”

Caroline Hanson, Employment Adviser

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Further information: The Civil Service Summer Diversity Internship Programme aims to give people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to see what a career in the Civil Service is like, you can find out more here:   https://www.gov.uk/civil-service-fast-stream-summer-diversity-internship-programme

The Careers and Employment Service offers specialist information and advice for disabled students: https://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/planning-your-future/disabled-students

Disabled Student Support identifies any barriers and obstacles to learning and aims to remove them thus giving disabled students the opportunity to realise their full potential. See: https://staff.shu.ac.uk/sls/qess/ss/ds/default.asp