Do you need a TV Licence?

Do you need a TV licence? If like me you love watching television especially the soaps and reality tv shows (don’t judge me!) you are quite happy to pay for the TV licence – or are you? Did you know that if you only watch certain ‘catch up’ TV programmes you do not need a TV Licence?

Below is how (if you follow certain criteria) you can save £150 a year on your TV licence and watch TV for free.

Do you need a TV Licence?

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Tips on how to stay healthy after the Menopause

It is vital that we stay healthy after the menopause.

If like me you have gone through ‘the change’ (I hate that word!) then you are looking at more than one-third your life still ahead of you which is great.

So the hot flashes and mood swings (and endless other menopause symptoms) may have stopped after menopause but you still need to make sure you look after  yourself post menopause

Below are some tips on how to make the most of your new life.

Of course these are only guide lines and if you are worried about any medical condition please do contact your Dr or Local Pharmacy immediately.

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Can you live without plastic

Can you live without plastic – the answer is 100% yes.

There has been a lot of media coverage recently regarding plastic packaging and many stores are now trying to become plastic free. Iceland is leading the way with their pledge to be plastic free by 2023 with their own brands.

If you visit you local supermarket you cannot seem to avoid plastic packaging in all forms from plastic carrier bags to plastic bottles. It is bad for the environment but how can we produce less waste? Can we live without plastic.

Below are 5 tips on how we can reduce our plastic waste and save the planet.
Can you live without plastic

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How long should you keep important paperwork for?

How long should you keep important paperwork for? If like me you probably have a lot of paperwork regarding your personal details lying around the house. Hopefully somewhere safe and within easy reach. You may think well all my details are on a computer (you may even have scanned all important documents to your PC). While scanning the documents is a great idea you must bear in mind that all digital records could be affected by a virus on your PC and your data could be lost.

So how long should you keep important documents before you have a clear out?

How long should you keep important paperwork for

 

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Why first impressions count in a job interview. Tips on how to help you secure a new role

 Why first impressions count in a job interview. Tips on how to help you secure a new role

First impressions count in a job interview. You never get a second change to make a first impression and this is never truer than when trying to secure a new job.

Did you know that it only takes less than 30 seconds for a potential employer to form an opinion of you? So you have to start selling yourself immediately.

Your body language will have a vital impact on how your interviewer will see you and so it is so important to get this right from the start of the interview. Just by walking through the door you are being judged even before you have sat down to commence the interview.

Why first impressions count in a job interview

Below are tips on how to make a great first impression and help you secure a new role.

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Is your phone charger safe?

Is your phone charger safe?

We all charge our mobile phones on a regular basis as we cannot be without our mobile phones. However, what happens if your genuine mobile phone charger breaks down. Would you just rush out and buy a quick replacement or just go on-line and find a ‘bargain’ cheap charger. How do you know it is the real thing and do you know if your phone charger is safe?

Fake unsafe mobile chargers have resulted in many house fires in the last few years. Did you know that near 2 million mobile phone chargers were brought online in the UK every year. But how easy it is to spot a fake mobile charger.

If you purchase a fake mobile charger it can be very dangerous and even life threatening. Below is a brief guide to safe mobile charging.

Is your phone charger safe?

 

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How to use the STAR skill in a job interview

 

How to use the STAR skill in a job interview

If like me you are interviewing for roles you will have often come up against competency-based interviews eg  ‘tell me about a situation’

Employers use this style for questioning to all interviewees to make sure everyone is being treated equally. Generally this is used in larger structured organisations (but I am now finding is is becoming the norm for all companies) and you could find these types of interviews challenging. However, if you use the STAR system you can ace the interview. It DOES take practice and it is worth rehearsing your responses prior to any interview so that it does not sound stilted.

How to use the STAR skill in a job interview

 

Your responses of course will vary  depending on the role you are applying for.  A PA could  be asked to explain a situation where there was a problem with travel and how did you resolve this. A customer service person may be asked how they solved a complaint without it being escalated to senior management.

So how to be a STAR

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How to deal with ageism when job hunting

 

How to deal with ageism when job hunting

Do you remember ‘The Bay City Rollers’ or queuing to see ‘Grease’ in your teens – then like me you are a proud 50 plus person. Welcome to the club!

How are you finding job hunting. Have you given up trying to get a job  or like me keep going as in the end we will get there.

Job hunting is a full-time job and there is a lot of competition not just for the over 50s I might add but we do need to put the extra effort in.

We have the experience and determination but sadly some employers do not see past our age and this is something we all must try to change.

Below are some tips on how to deal with ageism when job hunting if you are 50 plus.

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How to deal with gaps in your CV

How to deal with gaps in your CV

During our working life many of us will sadly have gaps in our CV due to various reasons which can include redundancy, medical, caring for relative  or taking a gap year  So how to deal with gaps in your CV is detailed below.

Your future employer will want to know why there are gaps. Explaining the gaps can be a challenge and if you do not disclose the gaps in your CV it could mean it could take longer to find the perfect role. Some employers may think you are hiding something such as being in prison or even on the run!

Below are some examples of how to deal with gaps in your CV and to make sure you get the job interview.

How to deal with gaps in your CV

 

Be upfront and honest

What ever reason for the cap in your CV remember that being honest is the way forward.

Of course you do not have to go into detail as some gaps in your CV you may not want to discuss fully and want to be discrete. But do not cover it up by extending your length of service with a previous employer as your future employer may call your previous company for a reference and if the dates do not match they will want to know why.

 

Never apologise for the gaps

Always be optimistic about the gaps. You could say I have been busy job hunting and decided not to temp so I can fully concentrate on securing a new role. If I did temp them I feel I would not be able to fully committed to a company while job searching. You could also add you are a loyal worker and want to give 100% to the company I work for.

While job hunting you should consider taking a work related course (many of them are free on-line) so you could say to your potential employer I have also been updating my skills while searching for a new role. I have actually done that and placed this on my CV. It is often a good talking point at interviews.

Also consider volunteering in your local area – however if you are claiming job seekers allowance then do check with the Job Centre to make sure it does not affect your benefits.

Also get some personal recommendations from friends (and ex colleagues) who can provide a testimonial for you. Not only will this show the future employer that you are a good worker but could get you to the top of the pile if the testimonial is attached to your CV.

Just make sure you are doing something

How to explain reasons why there are gaps in your CV

Redundancy 

Good: ‘Sadly I was let go by my last employer as they had to make some budget cuts due to the company not securing a new order. I really enjoyed working there and was sad to have to leave’

Bad:  ‘I wanted to leave anyway so I volunteered for the redundancy as it was not a place I liked working in’

Sickness

Good:  ‘I have a medical condition which is under control. However, I felt I could not continue in my role. I am delighted to say that now I returned to excellent health and looking forward to a new opportunity’

Bad: ‘I get ill quite a lot and it affects my work and companies do not want to deal with people with my medical condition’

Caring for a family member

Good: ‘Sadly I had to care for a very sick relative over the last few months but now their health has greatly improved and they do not need round the clock care anymore’

Bad:  ‘I do not want to discuss family issues’

Travelling

Good:  ‘I wanted to experience new cultures and learn new languages’

Bad: ‘It was wild…I cannot remember all of it…’

How to deal with gaps in your CV

 

Some gaps do not need to be mentioned

One honest way of getting around gaps if the gaps were only for a few months is to only give the years you worked rather than the months. In addition if the gaps were more than 10 years ago you may not need to mention if you only cover the last 10 years in your employment. However if the gaps in the employment have been used constructively you may want to add that to the CV to enhance your skills.

How to deal with gaps in your CV

 Finally…remember that any gaps in your employment record may have been outside your control but what ever the reasons you must make sure to explain in a positive manner. This way when being interviewed you will be confident enough to explain why there are gaps in your CV and get the job.