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47 years of success - Established 1974

47 Years of Success
Established in 1974

"Helping you gain
.control of your career"

Get Ahead With Your Emails

Being able to write business-like emails is probably a major part of your job, whichever department you’re in. And being able to do this well will probably be a contributory factor in how much you are valued at work.

You must plan what you want to say and then make sure you have done it in a concise and clear way. At the same time you must give all the necessary information. We know that emails are, ideally, brief. But this is no excuse for omitting important information and then having to send a follow-up email.

When you have composed your message make sure that you check it very carefully before sending it. Once you have clicked the ‘send’ button it is on its way. You can’t change your mind. Continue reading

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Using Your Time Effectively

Here in the UK we are now in our second lock-down. Not quite as stringent as the first, but still tight enough to make life seem very different and rather scary. Many people are working from home and others are simply not able to work at all. So, they find themselves with lots of time on their hands and nothing much to do.

Not working and having lots of time to spare might have sounded wonderful twelve months ago…nothing to do but watch lots of TV, listen to music and work out. But with all the job insecurity, worry about catching the virus, not to mention boredom it’s not half as much fun as it once seemed.

So, what can you do to use your time more constructively? Continue reading

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Happy New Year!

We’re coming to end of a year that has been unique. Many people use ‘unique’ in the wrong way. They use it when they simply mean ‘different’ – but unique actually means ‘one of a kind’. I don’t think anyone making plans and resolutions last January could have imagined what 2020 would be like and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it has been truly unique! Continue reading

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Develop Your Own Style

I know that when we hear the word ‘style’ with regard to writing we usually think of books – novels or non-fiction. It’s how the author writes: what gives a piece an author’s distinctive voice.

But you’ve also got to think about ‘style’ when you’re writing at work – letters, emails, reports etc. Your own personal style is the way in which you express your ideas. It should be as attractive and as easy to read as you can make it.

You can learn a lot by studying the style of other writers, but don’t be tempted to try to write exactly like them. Your style must develop naturally. Practice leads to better writing, and the more you practise, the more confident you’ll become.

Here at Business Training, our own rule to help you is this: remember the Six Cs: correctness, conciseness, clarity, coherence, completeness and courtesy. So let’s have a closer look at these. Continue reading

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You Don’t Need a Passport to Write Travel Articles

You’d think a passport would be pretty essential to writing travel articles, but you’d be wrong! In fact, you don’t have to go anywhere to write great travel articles – you can produce them from the comfort of your own home. Well, you might need to drag yourself outside to take some photos, and once you realise how much they can improve your chances of getting published I’m sure you’ll want to do that. But, essentially, that’s as far as you’ll need to go. And that’s great news now when there are so many travel restrictions and social distancing makes ‘normal’ life increasingly difficult.

It sounds so obvious, but most people don’t realise that they don’t have to be on holiday somewhere exotic in order to write a great travel piece. For instance, I could write an article about Manchester and its attractions. As a resident of the city I have significant advantages over a tourist because I know where the: Continue reading

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Nail That Job!

Last month we looked at applying for a new job. So, let’s assume your CV and covering email were so good that you went onto the shortlist, what should you do next?

The first thing to do is find out as much as possible about the company which has advertised the job. Where are they based; do they have offices/factories in other towns, cities or countries; what do they sell/produce; how are these products and services advertised; how are they perceived by the general public; how long have they been established; how many people do they employ…?  This is a basic list, but knowledge is power and the more you know, the more you can impress the interviewer/s. So, if the job is local, talk to people who might know about the company or who might even have worked there. But also go online and find out as much as you can – most companies have a website that gives information about them. If they make domestic items such as furniture, goods or food have a look how these are promoted in stores, on radio and TV and on social media. Continue reading

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Beating The Unemployment Blues

There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a worrying time for everyone. Most of us have had to endure lockdown during the Covid pandemic and even though restrictions are starting to lift in some countries, others have had to re-impose lockdown because cases have started to rise again.

This has hit economies hard around the world and, certainly in the UK, a surge in unemployment is predicted. And I’m sure this isn’t the only place where it will happen.

So, perhaps now is the time to overhaul your CV in case you find yourself having to look for a new job. But before I go into this, I’d just like to say that if this happens to you, try to stay positive. Before starting to send out job application in a scatter-gun manner, sit down and think about what you really want to do. Do you want a job similar to your old one? Do you feel you’d like to go down a different path? You might even take the plunge and decide to Start Your Own Business. Continue reading

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Stop Putting It Off!

I was reading a copy of Management Today recently and saw an article entitled “Are you suffering from ‘someday syndrome’?”  What they meant by this was procrastination – putting things off instead of getting on with them.

We’re all guilty of this to some degree.  I sometimes find myself putting off starting to write a difficult report or – even worse – completing my annual tax return!

But there’s no point promising yourself that you’ll lose weight or get fit or learn a new skill unless you actually start the process.  So, whether you’re already enrolled with us and need to press on with your studies – or you’re still contemplating which course to choose – don’t put it off!  There’s no time like the present.  And you’ll find that with our Business English with Spoken English Diploma Course we provide you with a study schedule that won’t make you feel stressed – but it will keep you motivated. Continue reading

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How To Stay Creative

First, I hope that you’re all keeping safe and well and that wherever you live you’re starting to see life getting back to some kind of normality – however slowly.

I’m not going to go on about Covid19 in this blog as I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing about it on TV, in newspapers and on social media. One thing it has done, though, is to make people hold their meetings online rather than face to face. I’d never heard of Zoom before all this started but I now use it for meetings, getting together with my family and we’re even considering doing some seminars. Continue reading

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Stay Well!

First, I hope everyone reading this is keeping well and has not gone down with Coronavirus.

If you live in a country that has not yet imposed restrictions on movement you will probably be going about daily life much as usual: going to work, meeting friends and family, having a drink and something to eat with them. If, however, like much of the world you are in ‘lockdown’ then life will seem very different!

I’m writing this post at home, where I’m working rather than going into the office and mixing with other people. I know I’m lucky that I can work remotely, because it means I don’t have to risk public transport or coming into contact with people (except direct family) who might have the virus Continue reading

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Susan Metcalfe - head of Business Training - discusses business, training and work issues. Come and join in the conversation or just enjoy the read!