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Summer, Summer, Summertime!

Schools are out, fine weather is here (for the moment) and the mood in the workplace is suddenly much brighter – until all but one fan breaks in your un-air-conditioned office.

If you’re looking for a new role however, this isn’t the best season for you. With many taking longer breaks throughout the Summer holidays, roles can be few and far between – and the ones that do come up often have a longer recruitment process to allow for absences.

But don’t despair, here are five tips for you how you can spend the Summer wisely and be ready for the September recruitment rush.

1. Update
Summer is a great time to update your look, your wardrobe and your attitude to life in general. Although we think you’re lovely as you are, use this time to try out new looks and take inspiration – it’s time that grey pants suit retired!

While you’re updating your look, it might also be time to update your CV, especially if you’ve not had to use it for a while. There are great tools out there such as CV Knowhow to help you build a concise, eye-catching CV that will be sure to win over any future employer.

2. Training
Are you looking to change career? Or want to develop skills you think would be beneficial in your new role?

The Summer months give you the opportunity to look into the courses available, the range of options and perhaps help you find topics you may not otherwise have considered.

If you’re looking for a way to strengthen the skills displayed on your CV, why not have a look at our range of eight CPD accredited business courses to add value to yourself and your new employer?

3. On the move?
If you’re considering relocating, or simply looking at a role in a different part of town, use the longer days over Summer to get to know your potential new stomping ground.

Arrange family days out to get to know new routes, try out the best places for lunch or scout out great meeting spots.

The husband and children will think you’re just being generous with the days out, no need to tell them about your ulterior motive!

4. Get to know recruiters
Although there will be a lot of ‘out of office’ messages popup, no-one takes the whole Summer off or closes down for the season. So use this time to get to know recruiters, introduce yourself and build a rapport.

This will give you a much stronger standing when roles start to come in and you’ll automatically pop into consultants’ minds.

Plus, they’ll likely be glad of someone to talk to!

5. Get to know your colleagues
This may seem like nonsense if you’re looking to leave them, but take a moment or two to think about why you want to leave.

If this is because you think you’ve gone as far as you can professionally, by all means off you go. But if you’re simply unhappy with who you work with, it may be because you’ve not had the chance to get to know them properly.

Try arranging a drink after work, or take your lunches outside from an impromptu picnic. Once you get away from the stressful office environment, you may find a best friend you’d never want to leave.

One thing to always remember during the Summer is to always ensure you make the most of the weather and fresh air. Although you may be short-staffed at times and find yourself covering more work than usual, that’s no excuse for missing out on the great outdoors and sunshine we see so rarely!

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Surviving the un-survivable – travelling with children

Travelling with children

It’s finally Summer, the season we’ve all been waiting for! You’ve been working hard all year and now is the time to pack those new bikinis, that over-sized hat you’ll likely never wear and of course, more shoes than the number of days you’re away.

But before you get carried away with the packing there’s one thing to remember – getting there. With the children.

Going on a Summer holiday isn’t quite as relaxing as it was in your child-free days but it doesn’t mean it’s any less fun! So, to help you through, here are some top tips for stress-free travelling with your little darlings.

1. Mentally prepare
You know that they’re likely to get restless at passport control. Of course they’re going to go hyper after you’ve used them as bribes to combat aforementioned boredom. Yes, they’re going to start play fighting at 3am when you’re trying to find your hire car, and yes, one of them is going to get hurt.

Best thing to do? Don’t think too far ahead. Get through the problem in front of you at the time, the rest you can deal with when you get to it.

2. I Spy or iPad?
For long car journeys, I Spy – plus other car games – is a sure-fire winner. It encourages the children to look around them, see the world go past and can spark discussions where they may learn a thing or two.

I Spy however is not recommended on a plane, for obvious reasons. In this instance, the iPad (DS, Hudl, phone…) is the clear winner.

After all, no one wants to spend hours in a metal container next to an overweight gent who has just been identified as ‘F for Fat’ by your child.

3. Travel according to your routine
While this isn’t always possible, it’s wise to coincide your flight or long car journey with your child’s nap or bedtime.

By getting them into their PJ’s, brushing their teeth and reading them a story, they know these signals all lead to going to sleep. Although undoubtedly this will take much longer than usual due to the change of surroundings and activity going on around you, having them fall asleep as soon as possible means no cranky kids and a peaceful journey for you.

4. Pretend they’re not yours
Extreme but effective. Loudly exclaim your displeasure (getting fellow passengers on your side), put the pillow over your head and ignore them.

That, or wine.