With ten years experience working for a top UK university as a careers professional, I now work as an independent Careers Coach and run a freelance writing and editing business.
Given my background, I write informed, researched, accurate articles, copy and email marketing on careers, education, self development and recruitment.
With experience writing content for online magazines and print publications, I also specialise in writing copy relating to parenting, health and lifestyle.
A career break of any kind should not hold you back. Providing you present your break as a positive experience rather than detrimental to your career, and that you take precautions to ensure you have not let your skillset become outdated, there is no reason why you can't step back into a role in higher education.
Becoming a parent boosts our skills, makes us more efficient and allows us to assess what really matters when it comes to getting the job done. Consider these examples of ways you improve in the workplace after becoming a parent.
Salary negotiation is often the elephant in the room. Whether you're discussing a job offer, you're a freelancer talking to a prospective client or you're already in a job and want to talk about a raise, it's the conversation that we tend to avoid even though it is probably one of the most important and often the decider over whether we take a job or continue in a position.
Branding is a concept best understood by looking at companies and products. However, in the digital age, it's not just CEOs that should be concerned with branding, you too have a personal brand. When you go for an interview, you are selling yourself.
Going above and beyond is a great trait to have. It will make you stand out as reliable and driven, it's admirable within a team if you can help colleagues out and ensures excellent customer and client relations.
Once upon a time, when only the minority were able to study at university, good grades were enough to make you stand out from your peers. However, in this day and age, when an ever growing number of people are university educated, are good grades still enough to land you that dream job?
When you become a parent, it's easy to fall into the trap of believing that 'that is all you are now'. This can be especially true if you take a break from your career to raise your family, as being out of the game can knock your confidence.
How to address a career break on your CV Being out of work for a while comes with the dilemma of how to address this break on your CV. You'll probably receive varying advice about this but the truth of the matter is, it depends entirely on how long the break was for and whether you are going back to a similar role or looking for a career change.
Thinking about everything that needs to be on your CV, whilst also making sure you don't overload it with everything you've ever done, can be a tricky balance. It's important to make sure it is written with a role in mind so that you can tailor it to include all the skills and experience relevant to that role and that role only.
It's Christmas Eve and things appear to be winding down at the office. The Christmas jumpers are out, Michael Buble is belting out his annual festive medley and everyone seems in good spirits. The countdown for Christmas drinks is on!
The prospect of a 'career' for life is one that is sadly in decline these days. Unless you set out in life with the dream of becoming a doctor, a teacher, a carpenter or similar, chances are you end up stumbling across your career a bit further down the line.
When you leave university and step into the "real" world, it can very often be a daunting and disheartening place. Being offered a job upon graduation is no longer the norm. Graduate jobs are competitive and employers are looking for more than just a good degree.
by Nicola Vivian You've seen some great jobs you'd like to apply for but you have that gap in employment from taking time out to bring up your baby. While this shouldn't go against you, it is the unfortunate truth that gaps in your employment history may not be viewed favourably.
If you went to university straight from college, you can be forgiven for not knowing exactly what you wanted to do for your future career. Chances are, you picked a course based on a subject you enjoy and now that you've finished it, you may be regretting your decision and want to change direction.
You may think that a cover letter is quite a simple part of a job application. After all, you just need to state why you're writing, tell the reader your CV is enclosed and let them know you're looking forward to receiving an interview, right? Wrong!
When searching for work experience opportunities, you don't have to limit yourself to established programmes and formal application processes. If you have something in mind that you'd like to do or know of a company or organisation you'd really like to work for, why not contact them directly with a speculative application?
When you’ve been invited to the interview stage in a job application process, you’re at the final hurdle, the job could be yours.
Becoming a parent is an amazing life changing experience. There is nothing quite like it and it is something I highly recommend to everyone, that is like another kind of career coaching based on real practice and leading by your child.
A gap in your career to do the most important job of raising your young family does not signal the end. Admittedly, it can feel like when you make the decision to return to work. Taking time off can result in a dent in confidence and a feeling that you've missed too much to be able to get a foot back in.
Having a varied career rather than following a specific career path and working your way up, may have been considered unfavourable in the past. It suggests to some that you are not committed and get bored easily.
The Law of Attraction states that your experiences in life are shaped entirely by you. You are in control of who and what you do and do not attract. Without going into the science behind it, the fundamental rule of the Law of Attraction is, that like attracts like, so in order to attract what we want, we must become it.
Having a varied career can make writing a CV a daunting prospect. On the one hand, you have so much you can include, but on the other hand, it's hard to know how to structure your CV in a way that will impress rather than looking like you flit between jobs and passions.
Parenting and children
From the day we brought our little bundle home, she slept for five-hour stretches, though never at night. In fact, bedtime for a while was 5 a.m. But it was alright, we knew she could sleep, we just needed to work on her timing...et voila! Happy rested family.
They told us not to think the worst when we didn't hear a sound. They said a baby of your gestation wouldn't have lungs developed enough to cry. That tiny, determined cry as you were pulled from deep within me is etched in my mind for the rest of my life.
Having kids is a glamour-less business. Until I had children I had never talked so much about bodily fluids, seen so many bodily fluids, touched so many bodily fluids. Ewwww! With so many things to address, so many things to clean up, so many 'don't touch that's' and 'don't stick that up there's' there are some things you've just got to let go.
I'll admit, I was a little concerned when I first got wind of you. I wasn't sure you were good for my daughter you see. No offense, but I wasn't convinced I wanted her hanging around with you. After all, you only eat chips and cake, you stay out all night and you throw so many wild parties.
By Nikki Vivian Francis White was outed by a gang of fellow moms at a local playgroup for not making her own hummus on Tuesday, it has emerged. Witnesses reported Mrs.
I'm feeling particularly emotional for a Thursday night. You see, my baby girl turns three tomorrow. I'm sure many parents feel this way as another year passes and we all wonder where the time has gone, but aside from worrying life is passing by too quickly, it's the time of year I find myself looking back at photos of when she was born and reliving the experience.
If you've just added a new little bod to your happy family or are pregnant with your second, you might be starting to wonder what you've let yourself in for. Well, I'm not going to lie, the first few weeks were tough for us, despite having done it all before.
The possibility of having a premature baby isn't something that I really thought about when I was pregnant.
Whether it's time to renew yours or your child's' passport or you've just had your new Baby and it's time to take to the skies, knowing where to start with the whole process can sound a bit of a faff.
'Just looking, looking is free.' We had just been jumped by the next person to thrust a menu in our faces on the endless trail of tourist restaurants and stalls lining the Djemaa El Fna, Marrakech's main square. We politely declined and continued along in search of some authentic cuisine without the tourist price tag.
Birthplace of Roald Dahl, home of the Dr. Who experience, owner of the world's oldest Lovespoon... Cardiff has many claims to fame. However, as Nikki Vivian (G+) reveals, a better reason to visit is for the great nightlife, culture and people.
Food and Drink
After attending a cooking Master Class with Food Writer and Cook Fuschia Dunlop at this year's Abergavenny Food Festival in South Wales, Nikki Vivian sat down with her to talk food. By Nikki Vivian Fuschia's book, Sichuan Cookery is a firm favourite in Nikki's kitchen and the Master Class saw Fuschia demonstrate some dishes from her new book, 'Every Grain of Rice'.
Nikki Vivian shares weird cupcake recipes that have been sent to her by her dedicated followers. By Nikki Vivian One of the best things about cupcakes in my opinion is that they come in so many different flavours and varieties. I get great enjoyment out of trying unique flavour combinations and experimenting with different ingredients.
Although served in an English tea-cup, Nikki Vivian shares her perfected version of Moroccan Mint Tea. By Nikki Vivian I have always loved tea. The thing is, while I love experimenting with food, trying new ingredients and different flavour combinations, my tea drinking has never ventured much further than your average teabag and the occasional herbal tea.