It’s Your Life ... Don’t underestimate your skills

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Thanks to everyone who has been in touch with me and I am glad you enjoy the column.

A lot of you have asked for advice about looking for work.

Firstly I would urge you never to underestimate the skills you have. You may not have paper qualifications but, if you have raised a family and run a home, you do have skills.

If you have time on your hands and fancy some spare cash, offer your services around your local area. People will pay good money for help with gardening, DIY or even their ironing (£1 per shirt soon adds up). Advertise in your local shop, tell your friends or even put a flyer through doors. If you are a mum with small children, why not look after other children, or even take them to and from school if their parents work full time. You may have to be registered though – www.childminding.org.

If you want to apply for work you should prepare a CV, even if you don’t think you have anything to put in it. A CV is really just a record of what you have done in your life. So, on an A4 sheet, put your name, address and contact numbers. Then list anything at all that you have achieved or done – educational certificates, jobs, holiday or voluntary work and your interests.

If you love fashion, say this in your CV and target clothes shops. Or you may be a DIY expert so head for

B&Q or, if you are bookworm, WHSmith and so on.

You may feel so much at home in the supermarket that you want to work there. Staff discount could come in handy too!

Even if they are not looking for staff now, they may be in the future and, if your CV is in their hands, you could be in luck.

The local paper is an obvious place to look for work, but check out local websites such as www.gumtree.com. You could even advertise your services there. Shops and local businesses often put cards in their windows if they are looking for staff so go round your town and look. Don’t wear casual clothes, being smartly dressed gives you an immediate lift and it will make you look serious about looking for work. If the manager isn’t in, leave your CV, ask for his name and follow up with a phone call. Good luck.

Visit www.kennedylifecoaching.co.uk or e-mail questions to maureen@kennedylifecoaching.co.uk.