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MrBurke  
#1 Posted : 10 April 2017 18:49:28(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
MrBurke

Hi, Everybody.

I am a new Iosh member and I have joined to make my job applications more professional, and to access help and guidance in getting that 1st job in the Health and Safety industry. I'm 35 years old and have worked in Construction and Manufacturing environments all of my working life. A few years ago while running my own Roofing business, I was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer. This put an end to my business as I was too ill to work for a good 18 months. During my recovery I enrolled on and studied the Nebosh National General Certificate as I thought Health and Safety would be a good career change for someone with my work experience. I have been back in work for 3 years now. Still working in construction, Roofing and Cladding and applying for lots of Health and Safety jobs. I have had many interviews and lots of good feedback but my lack of office environment experience seems to be my achillies heel. Once I have completed my Construction Certificate I am planning on doing a Microsoft Office course, so that I am confident and competant in using computers and will have the proof to put on my C.V.

If anybody has any advice for me, any other ideas or know of any courses I could go on to help me get my foot in the door of my new career I would be very grateful and I look forward to reading your advice.

Thanks for reading

David.

WatsonD  
#2 Posted : 11 April 2017 07:07:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Hi David,

To bre honest it sounds to me that you are doing everything right. In terms of office experience, do you emphasise that you were running your own business?

Surely this would involve invoicing, estimates, bookkeeping, etc. mot to mention running your own H&S. Did you employ staff? Did you build your own templates, websites, etc? You need to sell yourself.

Improving your IT skills is a good step, but your construction experience is the main plus point that I would take over office experience. I think getting the Nebosh Con Cert will open doors in spite of the feedback you have had on office experience.

thanks 2 users thanked WatsonD for this useful post.
lorna on 11/04/2017(UTC), MrBurke on 11/04/2017(UTC)
lorna  
#3 Posted : 11 April 2017 07:13:19(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
lorna

Hi David

When I was jobhunting, every vacancy wanted the Construction Certificate (I don't have NEBOSH & have no intentions of going that way after 27 years & CMIOSH) - so you've made a good start. However, office 'skills' are necessary - I certainly spend more time than I'd like tied to my computer!

I'd recommend

- finding your local IOSH branch, networking like crazy & asking if you could spend some time with them - perhaps you could find a mentor?  

- register with a few agencies. Don't expect too much from them but I did get some useful tips in making my CV more noticeable

- just try Google. It's where I found my job - a gem hidden amongst all the vacancies for door supervisors & security guards.

Good luck!

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MrBurke on 11/04/2017(UTC)
chris42  
#4 Posted : 11 April 2017 08:43:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

I did an ECDL advanced course (there is a basic one which I skipped) free via my local adult learning centre when I was out of work a few years back (evenings). I admit I could use computers fairly well before going on the course, so actually did the year course and exams in 3 months (which was as quickly as they could arrange them). But it gave me a bit of paper to wave at employers. They let people learn at their own pace, so has to be worth thinking about. If employed you may have to pay, though worth a look. It was run at a local (2 miles away) community centre.

The course covered Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.

One other advantage as I was technically a student (as this was part of the local collage) I could buy my own copy of all Microsoft software very cheaply for home (£45 the lot at the time). One of the other students told me about it.

Do this plus as others not sell your self-employed office skills.

Chris

Edited by user 11 April 2017 08:45:23(UTC)  | Reason: oops buy not by

thanks 1 user thanked chris42 for this useful post.
MrBurke on 11/04/2017(UTC)
MrBurke  
#5 Posted : 11 April 2017 16:35:22(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
MrBurke

Thank you all for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate the advice. The ECDL is exactly the course I was thinking of. You can do it as a distance learning course from home and the costs aren't any thing like the amount I've paid to do my Nebosh Certificates!! I'll get that done once my Construction Certificate is passed.

I do have basic knowledge of Office from my time running my own business as you all mention, invoices, estimates, creating letter heads. I would be 1st to admit I do need to learn and gain more exprience in excel, all my bookkeeping was done by an accountant. I do mention these things in my C.V. but I don't mention that I used Microsft Office. I'll do a bit of work on my C.V.

My Nebosh Construction exam is in June so I'll concentrate on getting the best result I can in that and then carry on applying.

Once again, Thank you.

David

Mr Curious  
#6 Posted : 12 April 2017 13:43:01(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mr Curious

Well at least now I know that the exact opposite exists ! I was on the other side of the spectrum, applying for construction roles. My feedback was positive and the theoritical background was very good with 2 masters but no practical construction experience. I felt like I was in a hamster wheel going nowhere.

I am currently following what you are doing but trying to get more project management focused certifications. Next in list is Prince2 foundation and practitioner. I guess continuous professional and self development committment is something you can additionally show on your CV.

Good luck !

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MrBurke on 14/04/2017(UTC)
RobertR2014  
#7 Posted : 13 April 2017 20:05:18(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
RobertR2014

David - welcome to the IOSH family!

It can be so hard when you are just starting out, its the old chicken and egg scenario of cant get a job cause you dont have experience and cant get experience as you cant get a job

I started out 3yrs ago with no health and safety quals - other than 10yrs in site management but I was lucky as I was put through my Nebosh Const. cert and im now just completeing my SVQ which should see me progress to grad iosh, my excel skills were very basic and I had never worked in an office environment - site offices dont count!

once i got used to office ettiquette (and wearing a tie everday) it was fine, one of my tasks was to update spreadsheets - from here I got familiar with Excel and then each night I would trawl the internet and watch vidoes on youtube to further my excel knowledge - I ended up putting together some very neat excel spreadsheets for reporting with charts etc

dont try to run before you can walk and it will work out for you, your off to a great start

thanks 1 user thanked RobertR2014 for this useful post.
MrBurke on 14/04/2017(UTC)
MrBurke  
#8 Posted : 14 April 2017 12:56:08(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
MrBurke

The people I've spoken too who work in H&S, my nebosh tutor, a friend I golf with and H&S advisers I meet on sites all seem to have "fallen " into the profession. Thanks for your responses, it gives me confidence that with an MS Office certificate to prove competence and a bit of perseverance that I'll eventually get to start a new career in Health and Safety. Then once I'm experienced I can look at doing the Diploma.
sappery760  
#9 Posted : 17 April 2017 09:14:00(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
sappery760

Best of luck

after talking to lots of people it appears that one big problem we have is that in general employeers do not like employing people [irrespective of the work field] who were self employed - as for your lack of office stills that is a 'red herring' in my view

Again best of luck

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