Monthly Archives

September 2016

image for the rsa towing a trailer information leaflet

RSA releases videos on Towing of Trailers

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The Swilly Group welcomed the release of an information booklet and a series of You Tube videos by the RSA on the regulations around towing of light trailers. The information Booklet “Road Safety Advice and driver Licensing rules for drawing light trailers” can be downloaded for free from the RSA’s website.

rsabooklet

The towing on trailer information also consists of a series of 6 short videos all relating to the regulations and best practice safety procedures on towing of trailers. The six videos are as follows:

  1. Licensing and Entitlement
  2. Roadworthiness
  3. Coupling a Trailer
  4. Uncoupling a Trailer
  5. Loading and Unloading a Trailer
  6. Driving Test for Trailers

rsavideos

Stephen Sweeney, Director of Driving Services said “There is still a lot of confusion around licences, weights and general safety requirements around towing of light trailers”. “We are delighted to see the RSA develop this booklet and the short videos”.  “Over the last number of years, we have had increasing numbers of drivers from the construction and agricultural communities taking the driving test in licence category BE (Car/Van and Light Trailer)”.

The Swilly Group offers driver training for Jeep and Trailer Licence category BE. If you require more support and advice on the towing of light trailers, please don’t hesitate to contact the Swilly Group Driving Division.  Telephone (074) 9151212 or email info@swillygroup.com to find out more how we can help you.

image of interviewee

The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviews

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Doing an interview for a new job is probably one of the most nerve wrecking things you will do in your life (up there with the Driving Test). Here are some of the Do’s and Don’ts of interviews.  Follow them to secure your ideal job.

…the Do’s

  • Research the company and the position you’re applying for.
  • Research typical interview questions and practice your answers.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately and be neatly groomed. Personal Presentation is critical.
  • Make sure you have fresh breath, particularly if you are a smoker.
  • Plan to arrive ahead of time. Ideally you should be present on the premises 10 minutes before your interview.
  • Always have the company contact details with you, just in case you get delayed.
  • Bring all relevant documentation. Present the documents neatly. Ensure you have a few copies of the CV you submitted to this company.
  • Greet everyone and be pleasant.
  • Throughout the interview maintain good eye contact.
  • Be enthusiastic about the job, the company and the industry sector in general.
  • Listen carefully to the questions being asked. If you don’t understand the question, ask for further clarification.
  • Make sure to highlight your key skills, achievements and talents. Know your CV inside and out.
  • Always, answer cliché questions such as “What is your biggest weakness?” honestly and with a follow up that shows you are actively working on your weaknesses.
  • Prepare one or two questions to ask about the job, company or the industry.
  • Close by indicating that you want the job. Ask what the next steps are in the process.
  • Thank the interview panel for their time. Give a good strong handshake.
  • When you leave the interview, you should record some details.

….the Don’ts

  • Learn off your answers by heart.
  • Dress casually or inappropriately. Always wear a suit or smartly.
  • Be late. You don’t want to get off to a bad start.
  • Arrive Stressed. Take 15 minutes before hand to relax with a coffee in a nearby café. Practice your breathing.
  • Bring someone else along with you to interview. Not even in the car. Your spouse, kids and pets are definitely a No No!
  • Address your interviewers by first name unless invited to do so.
  • Slouch, fidget or yawn during the interview.
  • Tell jokes or speak about controversial topics or politics.
  • Be cocky. There is a fine line between confidence and over confidence!
  • Speak negatively about yourself, your previous employer or a previous work colleague.
  • Tell Lies.
  • Be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand the question.
  • Offer one word answers “yes” and “no”.
  • Interrupt the interviewer when they are asking a question. Listen carefully and take your time when answering the question.
  • Discuss personal or family problems.
  • Bring your mobile phone into the interview room.
  • Act desperate.
  • Ask questions about salary, benefits, bonuses or holidays. The terms and conditions of the job are usually only discussed with the person who is offered the position.
  • Say you have no questions when asked at the end of the interview.
  • Call immediately after the interview for feedback.

If you require more support and advice on interview preparation and techniques, please don’t hesitate to contact the Swilly Group Recruitment division. Telephone (074) 9151212/1890 63 63 63 or email info@swillygroup.com to find out more how we can help you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tara McAssey is an Employment Officer and Recruitment Consultant with Swilly Group. She has been offering career planning advice for many years.  Tara has supported many employers with candidate searches and has a wide network of employer contacts across a number of industry sectors.

image of a man taking notes at training

Planning Your Career

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The average person changes jobs (often careers) multiple times over his or her lifetime! Often because they have never sat down and taken the time to map out a career plan for themselves or really assess what it is they want from their career. Some would ask does it make a difference. The answer is yes and here is why?

What is the difference in a Job and a Career? A job is a series of tasks concerned with making a living. A career is about having a more long term plan that allows the progressive growth of a person while at the same time making a life.

It is never too late to draw up a career plan. It’s also something that should be revisited on a regular basis to help keep you focused. It is not a task that should be put off or done half heartily, it should be liberating and fulfilling, mapping out the direction you want to take your career and the steps that you need to take to make your goals a reality.

career-planning

Knowing yourself is the first step in the process. In order to do this you need to be prepared to do some soul searching and reflection. I don’t mean dwell on the past, but to review and reflect by mapping your path to date examining your past roles and your levels of satisfaction in each of the previous employments.  You need to review and reflect on the reasons for why the path looks as it does today. There are four key questions you must ask at this stage.

1). Are you happy with how the path looks?

2).Could you have done anything better?

3).What might you have done differently?

4).What can you do differently in the future?

You need to reflect on your likes and dislikes, needs and wants, not just in relation to your job but your life. The simplest approach to starting this process is too draw up a simple two column list, likes and dislikes. Use the list to examine current job satisfaction or future career plans against these lists.  If you find that for the most part job activities fall into the like list and the balance between work and home life are what you want then you are well on your way to achieving your targets.

However, if you find they fall mostly in to the dislike column, then it is time to begin the process to search for a new job or career. It is really important to know what really drives you as an individual. What motivates you in your job or career? What exactly is your vision for your ideal career?  Examine your hobbies and interests too, these are important for life balance. In some cases, with careful planning, hobbies can transform into careers. Like the old saying goes “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”.

Explore your options. Ask yourself are you currently working in the right industry but perhaps just with the wrong company. If this is the case all you require is a job change. If you are not happy working in the industry, then it is a career change you need.

Examine your skill set.  Look beyond your current job or career.  Don’t focus so much on job titles held down through the years but more on the transferrable skills that you have developed in each of these roles.  By only examining job titles, particularly if you have a long history in one specific sector you are narrowing the scope of your search and this will prevent you from looking outside your current sector.  Focus on the transferable skills. This will allow you to look at a wide range of jobs, careers and industry sectors for which you can apply yourself.

Research the jobs and career trends in other industry sectors, particularly in the areas that you are interested. It is critical that you are aware of new industry sectors or those with expected growth.  This will have an impact on your decision making process.  Remember knowledge is power and it will help you strengthen your position, aligning your skills and identifying skills that may need further development.

Set achievable SMART Goals.  Both short (in the coming year) and long term goals (beyond a year) goals should be set. For example, when examining your skills set, you may have realised that you need to undertake a short course or a more long term approach to gain a particular qualification.  Setting goals breaks down the tasks into small manageable chunks which can make the process less daunting.  Remember make sure you set SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound) to help you achieve success. This is a process that will need to be reviewed regularly to ensure you are focused and also provides great satisfaction as you start to tick each goal completed, moving you one step closer to your overall targets.  During goal setting stage, highlight any potential barriers, look for creative solutions to overcome the barriers and don’t use them as excuses not to move your career forward.

Making Decisions.  This process will be a lot easier to tackle once you make the effort of reviewing and reflecting on your current status, researching your options and setting your goals.  You will find it a lot easier to take that leap because you are very well informed and will feel much more confident in your approach. You will be ready to Move On.

Moving On may take some time, however if you review and reflect and treat your career plan as a living document, reviewing and updating as you reach each goal, you will gain real satisfaction knowing that you are well on your way to personal fulfilment on the career path that you want for yourself., creating the life you want to experience.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tara McAssey is an Employment Officer and Recruitment Consultant with Swilly Group.  She has been offering career planning advice for many years.  She has supported many employers with candidate searches and has a wide network of employer contacts across a number of industry sectors.