Believe & Other Career Lessons from Eddie Izzard

[I]f I assume I have the confidence, I’ll tell everyone I’m doing it, and then people will come and we’ll actually do it. Once we’ve done it, I’ll have the confidence to do it again. It was some sort of weird positive-thinking confidence mantra because I had to get there.” ― Eddie Izzard


It’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival time again, so USP Your Monday’s coming straight from one of Britain’s best-loved comedians Eddie Izzard.


But Eddie wasn’t a natural comedic talent, as one journalist said of the Eddie Izzard documentary Believe: “[T]his film …explained how he went from comic no-hoper to the kind of star who can sell out Wembley Arena.”


Doing stand-up is probably one of the scariest things out there – like an interview multiplied! So, just how did Mr Izzard do it? And can we apply the lessons he learned to our careers?


Here goes:


1. Develop “personal nepotism” – basically this means if no-one else will give you a break do it yourself. Izzard developed his comedic chops from the ground up starting at Covent Garden.


2. Have a clear goal in mind – he also compered open-mike spots and plotted his progress on map of London. He even had colour codes which told him what material worked where.


3. You have to believe you can do it – once an escapology act went wrong in front of crowds at Covent Garden piazza. After a fellow escapologist told him: “If you think you cannot get out you will not be able to get out. …You have to believe you can get out.”

Now, there’s something to really get you going this Monday!


Get in touch:


Want extra support to move toward where you want to go in your career? Need guidance on how to best position yourself for that job? Any particular issues or insights? Let us know!


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London 2012 Stats – Why You Should Get Involved in the UK’s Next Big Event

This week marks 5 years since the London 2012 Olympic games. Can you believe it!?


Now, we heard a lot about the benefits of the Games, but did they work their supposed magic on mere mortals like you?


Indeed can getting involved in key cultural events like the Olympics or the UK City of Culture – which Hull is hosting this year – help boost sectors like hospitality and construction, as well as your personal career prospects?


This Friday Eye View we’ve taken a look:


  • One chance – London 2012 Chairman Seb Coe said the Games were a: “…[O]nce in a generation opportunity to showcase everything that makes Britain great in order to generate long-term economic benefits.”


  • £16.5 billion for the UK economy – an Oxford Economics study predicted the 2012 Olympics would generate this much by 2017. While another report predicts the benefit to amount to £41 billion by 2020. But many economists say it’s too soon to tell the real impact…


  • Over 46,000 jobs – London 2012 saw thousands of Games-related jobs generated at a time of global recession. It’s claimed nearly 40% employed during the Games were previously unemployed


  • 8,000 construction opportunities – The Olympic Delivery Authority had themes that underpinned the construction programme and became the core of its procurement policy, like excellent and innovative design and access to jobs


  • 1,139 ads – the number of Olympic Park jobs being advertised according to a 2012 Metro newspaper study


  • 2 in 5 hospitality roles – hospitality & catering peeps were in demand in 2012 according to the Metro’s stats


  • Over 3/4s of hospitality businesses – said they believed they’d see a long term benefit following the 2012 Games, according to The Caterer


  • London visits up by a 1/5th by 2016 – with forecasts by London & Partners suggesting that London tourism would see stronger long-term growth. However Brexit has caused some uncertainty according to PwC research


  • £7.3 billion boost from Construction – the Construction industry saw a huge benefit according to a report commissioned by the UK Government


  • 98% of Olympic facilities built by British companies – generating much-needed business for 75,000 firms


  • 17 per 100,000 worker-hours injury rate – 2012 was the safest Olympics ever delivered, with an injury rate far below the 0.55 industry norm – which was great for business!


  • 70,000 volunteers – the “unsung heroes” who gave their time and energy were seen to be key to the Games’ success


  • Countless opportunities – Leisure & Events Management student and 2012 volunteer (or Games Maker) Mairead McMahon saw her career dreams come true on the back of the Olympics, going on to work for Manchester United and Disney World, Florida.


She told the Mirror:  “Everything I have learnt from London 2012 has helped me in all aspects of life…If it wasn’t for volunteering it wouldn’t have happened.”


On her interview with Disney World Florida she went on to say: “The first thing they asked in my interview was about London 2012.”


In conclusion:


As we reach the 5 year anniversary of the 2012 Games and we watch Hull thrive as UK City of Culture 2017 it’s clear to see that big events like these can change lives.


Just this year Hull City Council has revealed that 90 new businesses had been established, or changed use, and 550 new jobs have been created since 2016 alone.


While people taking part – whether as employees or volunteers – can reap huge rewards many might not have accessed easily.


Find out more on how to volunteer, including the 2012 volunteering legacy programme Join-in here. You never know, your future career success could start here.


For more career support call (or email) Angel today OUR CONTACT DETAILS!


Next Steps:


We want to hear your thoughts on the impact of getting involved in sporting or cultural events like these. Were you working or volunteering at London 2012? What did it do for your confidence or career? We’d love to hear your thoughts.


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How Music Can Help You Work Better & Faster

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” ― ConfuciusThe Book of Rites


From Glastonbury to Glyndebourne summer is music time. Think music think time out. It’s relaxing or fun, sometimes stirring, but it’s not usually something we associate with getting the job done.


But what if we were to tell you that scientific research carried out by Mindlab International on behalf of MusicWorks found that:


  • Nine out of 10 workers perform better when listening to music
  • 88% of participants produced their most accurate task results
  • 81% completed tasks fastest to music


While listening to an ad-filled radio station which plays hit songs on a loop might be distracting – especially if you’re trying to concentrate – it turns out different music is good for doing different stuff.


And, remember the study also found:


  • People made the most mistakes at work when not listening to any music at all 


But here’s the lowdown on what the study reckoned you should listen to for particular tasks:


  • Classical music – for number crunching and other tasks which require attention to detail, like proofreading
  • Pop music – for speedier data entry (study participants were 58% faster apparently), quicker spell-checking or making that deadline pronto
  • Ambient music – for the accurate completion of tasks involving those pesky equations
  • Dance music – for proofreading and problem solving. And, love it or hate it, apparently dance music resulted in the highest overall accuracy and fastest performance across a range of work tasks!


So as festivals fill the fields and the Royal Albert Hall opens its doors to the annual Proms perhaps it’s time to turn up the music and get down to work.


Find out what other studies have to say about music and productivity – including distracting words in music and how nature sounds can help you work better – in this Business Insider article.

Get in Contact:


What does music do for you at work? We’d love to hear your insights or issues. And for some real-life support to help you get productive and make those career moves happen faster get in touch with one of our friendly team today!


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8 holistic habits for your career success

How healthy are your career habits?

Are your everyday actions priming you for peak career performance?  Or are you so focused on your current job you’re at risk of developing shrivelled prospects?! (Yep, that’s a real thing…)


Thinking holistically


Think ‘holistic’ and you might think: health. But it actually means considering each part as connected and essential. When applied to your career it means taking a ‘big picture’ view and looking above and beyond, in addition to doing your job well.

Why should you do this? After all you’re doing what you’re being paid to do, right?

Well, developing healthy and holistic career habits will set you apart from your peers.

Cultivating the healthy career habits below will help put you in the best position to take your next career step. On the other hand, cultivate a blinkered, ’computer says no’ approach and you’re likely to wind up with zero opportunities – or those withered prospects we mentioned earlier.

Check out the holistic career habits that could mean career success below:



  1. Start learning the skills you need for your next job now


Unhealthy: You stick to your job description and never deviate. At its worst think: the ‘computer says no’ woman from Little Britain. But even if you do your job well this approach won’t best position you for your next role.

Holistic: Taking a bird’s eye, or holistic, career view means thinking beyond your role boundaries. Ask yourself: what skills or knowledge do I need to take me to the next level? Then take action.



  1. Dress for the job you want not the job you have


Unhealthy: Dressing down when others are dressing up – despite your workplace ‘wear what you want’ dress code.

Holistic: Dress for the job you want. This might sound old hat (pun intended), but last year a Wall Street Journal article highlighted a few studies that show it really does matter what you wear to work. Yes, people really do judge a book by its hoodie cover.

It also turns out that suit-wearers are better at negotiating than their sportswear-loving counterparts. The thinking goes that your smartness commands respect which feeds your confidence. Cue: negotiation mastery!

But it’s not all about what you’re projecting. Another study suggested that people actually engage in higher levels of abstract thinking when they smarten up. Perfect for big picture thinking then.



  1. Make friends in high (& other) places


Unhealthy: You keep to yourself. Or, you form a kind of close-knit clique with your nearest team members.

IT departments, rightly or wrongly are renowned for this. The result can be alienating for both those in the clique and those needing to access your skills.

Holistic: Keen to take the step up? Then you’ll need to get known in all the right places.

That means getting to know your company bosses and how they talk. Learn the company lingo. Get your face known.

But you also need to know what’s going on across departments. Befriend people in other teams. Stop and talk to the receptionist. This way you get a broad overview of your company. And knowledge is power as they say.



  1. Know what’s happening – business-wise


Unhealthy: You don’t take an interest in what’s happening in your business sector. After all, that’s the boss’s problem, right?

Holistic: Wrong. Knowing your sector is crucial to understanding your company and how you can make an impact.

Keep up with sector news, events, your competitors and of course, what’s going on in your own company.

TIP: Set up a Google alert to keep abreast of sector news and views.



  1. Record your successes


Unhealthy: You’ve put in the graft. You’ve reached, or exceeded, your KPIs. But, while you may be congratulated you can’t simply rest on those laurels. People forget. In fact YOU might forget.

Holistic: You must keep a record of your own successes.

TIP: Create what’s known as a ‘brag folder’ to showcase your successes


It can be real or virtual. Some simply save it in an email folder. Whatever you choose to do record:

  • Client praises
  • Colleague compliments
  • Your boss’s feedback
  • KPIs reached and exceeded – with numbers

Keeping tabs on your successes means you’ll have instant access to the info you need to create that role-winning CV promptly; as well as data for appraisals and interviews.



  1. Pitch ideas – which might actually work


Unhealthy: Keeping your head down is for school. Keeping your ideas to yourself or getting stuck in a thought rut – “That’s how we’ve always done things around here!” – is not a recipe for career greatness.

Holistic: To get ahead at work you need to show you can think creatively.  Smart people are full of ideas, but brilliant people can sell those ideas.

Why? Because they understand how their ideas will impact their team and their business.



  1. Take opportunities you’re afraid of


Unhealthy: Your line manager asks if you’d like to head up on planning a key event, but you’re too shy to stick your neck out. After all you’re busy enough with your daily tasks, right?

Holistic:  When you’re offered a big opportunity, consider taking it — even if you’re a bit scared.

High risk can lead to high reward. Stretching yourself looks good when you’re looking to get that promotion. It shows you’re willing to take calculated risks. It shows you’re a team player. It’ll look good on your CV.



  1. Constantly think about your career


Unhealthy: You’re so focused on your job you forget about your career. Which means you’re not prepared when job opportunities come up. Or you’re on the back foot when you’re suddenly made redundant.

Holistic: Successful people are clear on their career aims.

TIP: Every year spend some time really thinking about your career.


You make smarter career decisions when you have real data. Set goals. Decide how you’re going to reach them. Make contacts. Check out opportunities. And make sure your skills are in line with where you want to go.

For more career support call (or email) Angel today!


Next Steps: We want to hear about your healthy career habits! Found success with any of the habits above? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Is the 9-5 Over? Flexible Working is On the Rise – but is it good for you?

More and more people are working flexibly.

Article after article proclaims the death of the 9-5 and the birth of better working, while others worry about the erosion of workers’ rights and insecurity – think the furore around zero hours contracts, for example.

As flexible working becomes increasingly common we’re talking what flexibility means, who’s got it, why others want it, and why some don’t.

We asked our Angel consultants what they thought…



  1. What is Flexible working exactly?

Flexible working actually takes many forms.

It could mean working from home while being employed or working contractually, or temporarily, for different employers.

It might also refer to the hours you work – ie, part-time, flexitime, job sharing or shift work.



  1. Flexible working seems to be on the rise, why?

Well, the traditional 9-5 model is being challenged on various fronts.

Advances in online technology means workers can now securely access their work whenever and wherever they need to.

This means employees don’t have to physically be in the office to check emails or write a report or even attend a meeting.

That online reach also means we’re increasingly dealing with organisations on an international level.

Different time zones and an expectation of immediacy from customers who can interact with brands on social media 24/7 has resulted in businesses being put under pressure to expand their hours of availability.



  1. Why is flexible working popular?

Research by Price Waterhouse Cooper shows that flexible work is actually the benefit most valued by employees – above even pay and bonuses!

Lifestyles are changing for one thing.

Mums want to return to work, but often part-time. Dads want a better work-life balance and time off with newborns – check out our recent USP Your Monday post on dads at work HERE.

And, while millenials are often cited as flexible-working enthusiasts, even older people, who’ll be working longer, will need to balance that with caring responsibilities for older relatives or may want to ‘wind down’ and work part-time instead of flat-out retire.



  1. Why has it got a bad rap?

Well, the GMB union recently said the result of the Brexit vote is mainly down to ‘a fourth industrial revolution’ (What the World Economic Forum calls “…a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another).

This has seen the rise of the so-called ‘gig economy’ where people work part-time or contractually, often on short-term contracts with few rights.

Zero hour contracts is a key gripe. People can feel insecure, unsure of what they’ll make month to month, with none of the benefits regular employees enjoy.



  1. What do businesses think?


Well, the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) reckons “[T]he UK’s flexible labour market is an ‘invaluable strength’. They say it’s behind Britain’s record employment rate and has bolstered the country’s competitiveness.

On the other hand traditional employment accounts for a greater share of taxes per capita then self-employment.



  1. Is flexible working the future, then?


The RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) was recently commissioned by Theresa May’s government to look into the ‘gig economy’ and envision ways it could become  “…a catalyst for fair, fulfilling work…”.

They found that while around 1.1 million people currently make up Britain’s gig economy nearly 8 million more said they’d consider some form of gig economy work in the future.



  1. How do you make it work for you?


If you look at Instagram or Twitter bios you’ll see people refer to themselves as something like: cook / gardener / handyman / dad.

The so-called ‘slash culture’ sees more people not just working flexibly but working at more than one thing.

Indeed a recent OnePoll survey of 2,000 people in the UK found that almost one in five employed young people have two or more jobs – more than any other generation.

47% said they were doing it for variety, while 27% said getting experience was key – not simply money.

A ‘slash’ approach, also called a portfolio career, can be a way to combine your strengths and interests. Something working in one role might not always allow.



  1. But how do you make that work with employers?


Yes, while you may be a trailblazing millenial employers might not be so progressive.

At Angel, we’d encourage you to ensure you know your values. That way you can align yourself with the kind of companies who are likely to provide flexible working patterns.

Plus, some employers see this ‘slash’ approach to careers a concern. Remember it costs to replace staff all the time.

To present yourself as viable employee it’s important to create a cohesive personal brand. Show why you’re doing more than one role – we recently talked about the power of blogging or having a website for graduates, but it’s great in this case too – READ MORE HERE



  1. But employers should be thinking more flexibly too, right?


Yes, anyone who has been working with an employer for over 26 weeks service can make a request for flexible working.

You should make the request in writing and it should be considered and decided upon within 3 months of receipt.

Employers must have a sound business reason for rejection, but employees can only make one request in any 12 month period.

Check out ACAS for more information on flexible working requests.



  1. Any last comments?


Flexible working has its pros and cons for everyone involved. Legislation is having to catch up. Many employers are having to catch up too.

But if you think flexible working is for you joining an agency is actually a great idea. Agencies have great contacts when it comes to this area, so make the most of them.



Now over to you:


Have any thoughts on what you’ve read? Are you searching for a more flexible job? Want to ask about your particular career issues? Got any burning questions we could put to future Q & Angel guests? As ever, we want to hear what you’ve got to say!



Some next steps:


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Useful Information

Our Useful Information section contains some facts and advice we think you’ll find useful. We’ve even included links to expert sites, including the NHS and dedicated charities.


Our Useful Information is comprised of two main sections:

  • Guides on how to live well
  • Further information on some of the healthcare issues we support


Take a look at our How to Live Well section for advice on:


Or, for more details on some of the Healthcare Issues We Support see here:

CQC Qualified Services

Choose Angel Care for access to over 50 years’ care expertise and the support of our dedicated industry-experienced consultants. See our latest CQC report.


Care Providers

If you’re a care facility who wants a reliable supply of qualified, cleared, compassionate and ‘can-do’ candidates Angel Care is your go-to care recruitment solutions partner.


Domiciliary & Palliative Care

If you’re looking for a trusted care professional to support you or a loved one at home Angel Care is here to be of service.

Stroke Care

The brain damage caused by strokes is the largest cause of adult disability in the UK.

Managing your practical, emotional and social needs following a stroke can be difficult. So, Angel Care is here help you negotiate the aftermath of a stroke in the familiar and comforting surroundings of your own home.


Choose Angel Care for:

  • Support with rehabilitation
  • Personal care support
  • Help with continuing social activities
  • Practical help with every day tasks
  • Medication management
  • Help preparing nutritious meals – including support to eat and drink
  • Live-in care


More on Stroke

  • A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off
  • After a stroke about a third of people will develop aphasia, affecting communication skills
  • Others experience a loss of memory or the ability to concentrate
  • The physical effects of stroke include: seizures, weakness or paralysis and extreme fatigue


How We Can Help

It’s normal for those suffering the trauma of a stroke to experience depression, anger or an inability to control emotions – even though this may be uncharacteristic. Plus, these behaviours can be compounded by anxiety and the side effects of medication.

Angel Care’s compassionate care staff are experienced in supporting stroke survivors in a range of ways, from planning your support with you, and your loved ones, to helping you to rehabilitate in your own home.


What Next?

Have more questions about strokes?

Find out more from the Stroke Association. Or, contact your local Angel Care office and speak with one of our friendly care team about creating a support package to suit you.

Find your nearest branch HERE.

Bariatric Care

Bariatrics deals with the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity. A common problem, obesity is estimated to affect around one in every four adults in the UK.

Unfortunately obesity can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening conditions and can affect quality of life. That’s why Angel Care’s sensitive and professional services provide obese clients with the support they require at home.


Choose Angel Care For:

  • Personal care assistance
  • Skin care support
  • Someone to talk to
  • Help planning and creating nutritious meals
  • Assistance to attend your favourite social activities
  • Help with everyday tasks
  • Medication management


More on Bariatrics & Obesity

  • Here ‘obesity’ refers to those over 25 stone
  • Generally caused by eating too much and moving too little obesity is also caused by underlying medical conditions or certain medications
  • Complications include: breathlessness, difficulty performing physical activities, fatigue, joint and back pain, and low self-esteem
  • Further risks include: type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, stress incontinence, obstructive sleep apnoea and pregnancy complications


How We Can Help

Diet, exercise, behaviour therapy and anti-obesity drugs are first-line treatment, while weight loss surgery may also be considered. The combination of approaches used is unique to each patient, but all will require commitment and regular monitoring, that’s where Angel Care can help.

We’ll create a care plan tailored to your specific needs, preferences and aims, enabling you to stay in the familiar surroundings of your own home.


What Next?

Got more questions on obesity and bariatrics? Try HOOP UK or the NHS website.

Or, contact your local Angel Care department to speak with one of our friendly care team about creating a bariatric care and support package to suit you.

Find your local branch HERE.

Spinal Injuries Care

Anyone who’s read journalist Melanie Reid’s award-winning column for The Times on life as a tetraplegic appreciates that sustaining a spinal injury is life changing for both the person injured and their loved ones.

Whatever the nature of your spinal injuries Angel Care is here to help with specialist support for you rehabilitation or continuing care.


Choose Angel Care For:

  • Medication management
  • Support bathing and dressing
  • Catheter care and continence management
  • Support to remain hydrated and consume a nutritious diet
  • Assistance with routine household chores or everyday tasks
  • Help to keep you connected to the people and activities important to you
  • Emotional support
  • Rehabilitation services


More on Spinal Injury

  • Paraplegia – damage to the spinal cord in your back, paraplegia affects the movement and sensation in your legs and possibly stomach muscles
  • Tetraplegia – damage to the spinal cord in your neck, tetraplegia affects movement and sensation in all four limbs, as well as stomach and chest muscles
  • Partial damage to the spinal cord means some sensation and movement will return – but this could take up to two years
  • Permanent damage can increase the risk of: pressure sores, hypothermia, hyperthermia, stroke and injury from uncontrolled muscle spasms


How We Can Help

The nature of every spinal injury is different so Angel Care’s knowledgeable staff help clients create a personalised care plan that focuses on your personal needs, preferences and goals.


What Next?

Got more questions? Take a look at the Spinal Injuries Association for further information.

Or, contact your local Angel Care office to speak with one of our friendly care team about creating a spinal injuries care and support package to suit you.

Find your local branch HERE.