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10 Career Quick Wins | Amazing If

Sarah Ellis: And this is the Squiggly Careers podcast. Every week we take a different topic to do with work, and we talk about ideas for action and tools that we hope would just create some clarity and maybe a bit more confidence and control in your Squiggly Career.

Helen Tupper: And every week, we try to take what you are listening to and turn it into tools that you can learn even more from, and there’s quite a few. If you are new to Squiggly Careers, welcome to the world of career support that we’re offering to you. It’s quite a lot! So, to make it simple, you can start with the PodSheets. This is a one-page summary that has coach-yourself questions, it summarises the ideas for action we talk about, and it’s got a few recommended resources, things you can read, watch, and listen to if you want to dive a bit deeper into the topic. You can join PodPlus. It is an almost every-week session, I mean that’s my caveat, that sometimes we just can’t quite make it work; but more weeks than not, it happens and it’s 30 minutes, Thursday morning, 9:00am, and it’s brilliant. I did it for the first time last week after a three-week break, because of various things Sarah and I were doing, and I was like, “Oh, this is why I love PodPlus”.

Sarah Ellis: I’m doing it this week and I’m actually looking forward to it.

Helen Tupper: It’s great, it’s so good, it’s just a community of like-minded learners. Sarah and I take the topic we’ve talked about and then everyone contributes their own ideas, their insights, their stories. It is a really positive learning career community. So, all the information for that is on our website, amazingif.com, and we will also put it in the show notes; but email us at [email protected] if you can’t find that. Also, follow us on LinkedIn, that sounded very direct, “Follow us on LinkedIn!” The reason you might want to follow us on LinkedIn is because we put other resources there, so upcoming podcasts, if you want to ask questions or connect with people, @amazingif on LinkedIn is a good place to go. Sarah Ellis: So today, we are talking about ten Squiggly Career quick wins. It’s going to be fast and furious and very action focused. So, we’re recording this in mid- to late-November, and obviously we will have some year-end review, more reflective episodes coming your way. But before we get to that point, we thought it might be helpful if you are listening to this in real time and you’re thinking, well, what can I get done between now and whenever you’re hopefully going to get a break towards the festive season in a way that feels realistic, is going to move you forward and give you some really good momentum.

We’ve also had a go at guessing, I’ve wrote “outlining” here in my bullet points, but I think guessing is the right word; we’ve guessed how long we think each action would take. We’ve done all these actions, so hopefully it’s not a complete left field guess, it’s based on some data, but we also wanted to make sure that they were genuinely quick, that we weren’t suggesting anything here that was going to take you three hours to try and get done. So we’ll go through each of the tools, we’ll tell you how long we think it takes and we’ll give you a couple of examples to get you started.

Helen Tupper: So, fast and furious, we will start with number one and number one, I feel like it’s very Helen; Sarah’s idea but I think it’s very Helen one, is pick a new tool to try out. And we think it’s going to take about ten minutes, so not a massive commitment, but the reason you want to do this is because it’s much better to play with tools than to be scared of them. And sometimes I think the longer you leave them, the more fear gets associated with it, because everyone starts talking about them and then you’re like, “I don’t know how to use ChatGPT, what are they talking about?” It all just feels a little bit scary and you feel left out and left behind by whatever people are going on about. So, I think if you can have a regular “try a new tool out” thing, you don’t even have to tell anybody.

This doesn’t have to be like a, “Helen’s five tools she’s tried out this week”, it’s just have a play. For example, Miro is a really good one. If you haven’t used Miro, I’m currently using Miro to do mood boards on my house. I’m enjoying it greatly. I’ve decided that I’m just going to do this and do that in the evening. ChatGPT, a really good one, you can use it in so many ways. You can use it for research, you can use it for shortcuts in your work. Loop, so some people in our team have started using Loop, which is a Microsoft Teams kind of tool that integrates comms and things. That sounds very boring but it’s very useful. Paper, so for example we’ve never used PowerPoint in any of our Squiggly sessions, we’ve always drawn models and frameworks and we always get asked what tool do we use.

Paper is the tool, but there are so many. And we did a podcast a while back actually, kind of AI tools and tech that can help your career development. So if you’re thinking, “I’m not quite sure where to start”, then I would download that podcast and try out one of those tools. Sarah, you mentioned Coggle recently.

Sarah Ellis: I had two experiences last week where, prompted by someone else, I then tried out a new tool. So, I think that’s the other way to approach this, look out for what you see other people sharing. So, someone shared a Coggle with me and I was like, “What’s a Coggle?” other than quite a cute word. And essentially, it’s a visual mind map, so not dissimilar from a Miro board. So they would be good to try and compare and contrast and see which one you prefer. But then you can share it with someone, and this person was preparing for an interview for a different podcast and saying, “These are the topics we think we’re going to talk to you about, Sarah, how does this sound?” So, I navigated my way around the Coggle and I was like, “Oh, this is fun”. Then actually, you and I were in a meeting together where the person we were meeting had some sort of an AI plugin to that meeting that was taking notes for him. So his point was, “Well, I often forget what gets talked about. And so actually, it just records the meeting and I think summarises the action”.

And I was thinking, “Oh, that sounds useful”, because I am a real sucker for sometimes writing things down, I have messy notes. I sometimes put bits of paper in the bin that then three days later, I realise I really need. And I was like, “This could be really helpful for me”. I don’t think it would stop me using notes and scribbling things down and doodling and those sorts of things, but just have a record to come back to, to kind of go, “I think I committed to something in that meeting. What was that thing?” And so, that’s one that I’m going to try out in the next week or so. I’m going to work out how to do that for a Teams meeting, because we do that all the time, and just give it a go.

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