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Author Interview – Sandra Bellamy (Part 1)

16 Aug

Break cover copy1Having followed Sandra over at Quirkybooks for quite a while, I was delighted to make her my first in-depth interviewee.  Experiencing unemployment last year, it’s nice to see a book that helps people get out of the benefits cycle…unlike the job centre.

  •  – First off, congratulations on your getting your book published, how are you feeling now it’s out there?

Hi Ste. Thank you so much for having me on your blog. It feels amazing to finally have my book published and available on Amazon, especially as it’s taken me a little over two and a half years to write it. It feels like I am finally doing what I was born to do with my life and that is to write and to help others; particularly those who have been made redundant to get back into work. I also feel like the hard work has just begun, and there is so much more that I want to do and need to do, to get my book to reach a wider audience.

  •  – Can you give a brief overview of the contents and aims of the book?

My Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy book is a complete A-Z system for getting back into work, and a comprehensive guide about how you can recover from the devastating effects of redundancy to live the life of your dreams. Although this book is predominantly aimed at redundant workers, the content will prove equally useful to job seekers or anyone looking to change careers for whatever reason. It uniquely provides 80 benefits and covers 26 aspects of redundancy. It’s a system because each of its chapters is broken down into ‘5 components of redundancy’. You need to master all components in order to give you the best chance of success at getting back into work. Because this book takes a holistic view of redundancy, it will revolutionise the way you think about redundancy, job-seeking and life in general. One of the key components to master first of all is wellbeing skills, before exploring what options are available to you and learning the practical job skills. Although they are interwoven throughout the book, because what we feel and think about on the inside (our internal environment), reflects on what actions we take to change our external environment.

This book is different because it does not just focus on one element of redundancy, but on the many barriers you need to conquer if you are to successfully get back into work. I show you how to deal with the inner trauma and turmoil of being made redundant such as grief and depression; before focusing on the practical elements such as job-hunting, CV and cover letter writing; and dealing with tough interview questions, so you can make an informed choice about which future path you should take.
The 5 components of redundancy are:
1. The inner elements (Care for the inner you)
Wellbeing:
• A is for Antidote to beat redundancy blues
• F is for Fun
• L is for Love Yourself
• R is for Rejuvenate,
• Z is for Zebra
Mindset and attitude:
• J is for Job-hunting
• K is for Keep
• P is for Persistence
2. Practicalities:
• B is for Breathing Space
• H is for Help
• I is for Interview
• Q is for Quit your job
• V is for Voluntary Work
• W is for Work Experience
3. Exploring options:
• D is for Dream Job
• O is for Opportunities
• S is for Self-employment
4. Outer elements (How others perceive you):
• C is for Confidence
• E is for Express Yourself Clearly
• G is for Great Customer Service begins at home
• M is for Marketing
• N is for Networking
• U is for Unquestionable
5. Persuasion Skills – An irresistible offer:
• T is for Transferable Skills
• X is for X-Ray (Xtra Reasons to Appoint You)
• Y is for Yes
Focusing on wellbeing skills first, is essential in getting you successfully back into work. So for example, if you have job skills, but not the confidence to project that to recruiters in an interview, you are not going to get the job. Confidence is achieved by learning to love yourself for who you are and believing in yourself, when others don’t. I show you how to love yourself and project confidence to recruiters to get that job

 – It’s taken two and a half years of hard work to write your book, how are you feeling?

Relieved it’s finally out there, it’s a fantastic book and one I am so proud of. I am glad it’s taken me as long as it has to write it, because it is no ordinary book. It crosses two genres, an A-Z Guide with a ‘How To’ book and does not just provide job-seeking advice and help, but is a complete system for getting back into work. I have put everything I have learnt in this book, to help me in my journey from depression to recovery, from being redundant, to successfully getting back into work, from not knowing what my purpose is in life, to being able to find it and live my dreams, so I can help others to do the same. In that way, there is an autobiographical feel to it, at the same time it is completely targeted to the needs of job seekers, particularly those who have been made redundant. This book does not just give job-seeking skills, but life skills and wellbeing skills, and those are priceless. I feel that once you read the book, you will be ‘Wow! This is amazing, so much to learn.’ Because this book takes a holistic view of redundancy and that’s usually unheard of, you will never look at job-seeking in the same way again.

 – In your experience what is the worst part of being redundant?

The grief you feel if you enjoyed the job, and your worries about lack of money and how you are going to pay your bills and how long it’s going to take you to find another job. Then your self-esteem and confidence can plummet. I have seen some people go from being a confident person to a nervous wreck, who doubts their own abilities. I have seen others go from being a positive person, who is glowing, to a person struggling to come to terms with their situation; and it seems their hope and love of life, is being torn away from them. It’s really hard losing your job. It can be devastating and heartbreaking.

 – It’s all too easy to get into a malaise about the job market, what advice would you have for a long-term unemployed person looking for work with gaps in their CV?

This question can be a double-edged saw, and the answer is twofold. Firstly, there is a section in my book that directly answers what you should do if you have gaps in your CV. If it’s to do with being sacked, I cover that in a separate section. So if you are talking literally about the CV, you would need to fill in those gaps as much as possible with things like job-seeking, looked after a family member, went travelling, did voluntary work or similar. Which brings me nicely onto my second point. If you want to get back into work after having long periods of being out of work, and you do not have a continuous pattern of work and/or work experience, you need to take action now. So go and do voluntary work and/or work experience relative to work you would like to do. Offer to do a free work trial in the specific place where you want to work. If you do a great job and can prove you can do the job, then if a vacancy comes up and you happen to be there, or you are still in touch with them and raring to go, you stand a much better chance of getting the job over others. Take courses and classes to bring your skills and experience up-to-date and keep learning and developing yourself at every available opportunity. I discuss work experience and voluntary work in more detail in my Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy book. Read chapters W is for Work Experience and V is for Voluntary Work.

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50 Comments

Posted by on 16/08/2015 in Blogging, Interviews

 

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50 responses to “Author Interview – Sandra Bellamy (Part 1)

  1. Andrea Stephenson

    16/08/2015 at 21:19

    This sounds like a great approach to a difficult subject and Sandra you’re clearly very passionate about helping people through it.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      16/08/2015 at 21:25

      From my own experience, there wasn’t much help out there, it was do a CV, go on some meaningless courses and that was about it. I think it’s good that there is a book out there that goes into depth about the options and things that can be done, if only there were more jobs about!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Andrea Stephenson

        16/08/2015 at 21:30

        It’s something that’s facing my family as we speak and, working for local government, it’s a possibility for me every year come budget time, so it’s good to know there is some help out there.

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          16/08/2015 at 21:34

          It’s a scary thing, have you ever thought about networking with people who share your blog love and see if anything pops up?

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • quirkybooks

            17/08/2015 at 01:21

            Hi Ste and Andrea – There is a chapter devoting to networking. N is for networking. In this chapter I explain how LinkedIn works – LinkedIn is good for making direct connections with employers and cutting out the middleman.

            Like

             
          • Andrea Stephenson

            20/08/2015 at 18:35

            Fortunately I’m still in a job at the moment (we’ll see what the next round of cuts brings!) and we’ve had a temporary reprieve on the wider family redundancy front.

            Like

             
    • quirkybooks

      17/08/2015 at 01:18

      Hi Andrea Stephenson, thank you so much. I am very passionate about helping others through it. It can be devastating losing your job, but also an opportunity to take stock of your life and change it for the better, forever. But if the inner elements – your inner being – isn’t feeling so good, then you are more likely to only ‘see’ the negative about your situation, rather than the many positive opportunities and options. I talk about opportunities and options in O is for opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  2. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    16/08/2015 at 21:41

    The book deals differently with the subject of redundancy, it seems… 🙂 The chapters are uniquely named in an alphabetical order… quite an innovative idea… 🙂

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    • Ste J

      16/08/2015 at 21:49

      It does make it more structured and subsequently catches the eye. Sandra doesn’t call her blog Quirkybooks for no reason!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • quirkybooks

        17/08/2015 at 01:28

        Hi Ste, thanks for the interview and your input, it’s great to be able to help others and thanks for making that possible for more people. You are right – I don’t call my blog quirkybooks for no reason. I should say that I am now published on Kindle under my publisher name of Quirky Books.

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    • quirkybooks

      17/08/2015 at 01:25

      Hi Maniparna, thank you so much. I am glad it comes across that I deal with redundancy in a unique way. There is no other book like it on the market. I have crossed an A-Z Guide with a ‘How To” book – two different genres, that I don’t think has ever been done before. By putting the contents in an A-Z format, it makes the material more accessible and easy to digest. I do like to be quirky.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

        17/08/2015 at 21:39

        Hi Sandra, thanks a lot for your response..wish you every success with the book… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • quirkybooks

          17/08/2015 at 22:36

          Hi Maniparna, that’s so sweet of you to say, thank you. I hope the situation your family are facing gets better for them.

          Like

           
  3. Jill Weatherholt

    16/08/2015 at 22:48

    Thanks for introducing us to Sandra and her book, Ste J. I needed this book four years ago, when I suddenly found myself laid off and unemployed, for the first time in my life. Confidence is indeed key.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      17/08/2015 at 09:05

      I found it all to easy to slip into that ‘I’ll do it later’ frame of mind but I am glad I didn’t have too long to wait for something to pop up. Books like this are important to encourage people to keep going and to tell them that what they are doing is right. At my local job centre as long as I was sending my CV off then that was it unless I asked to go on some courses like how to cold call companies and that was never going to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • quirkybooks

        19/08/2015 at 02:55

        Hi Ste, yes, unfortunately the job centre aren’t very helpful. I say in my book about some of the helpful course people can go on for free while on benefits, or that are heavily subsidised – but you usually have to do your own research to find these as the job centre and not very forthcoming about it.

        Like

         
    • quirkybooks

      19/08/2015 at 02:53

      Hi Jill, thank you. I am glad you are no longer in a redundant position.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  4. Seyi sandra

    16/08/2015 at 23:02

    This is a great interview Ste J, I think this is a book that would help people a lot! Well done for sharing this old friend.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      17/08/2015 at 09:00

      Thank you, this is my first interview so wondered if my questions were incisive enough but I do like supporting our community and I can only get better with each one I do, I like to learn as you know.

      Liked by 1 person

       
    • quirkybooks

      19/08/2015 at 02:57

      Hi Seyi sandra – Cool name by the way. Thanks for the positive feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. clarepooley33

    17/08/2015 at 01:13

    What a great book! Thanks for Part 1 of your review Ste. I am always impressed by people who can use such a traumatic personal experience to help others. These are the people who really know what it’s like to have that particular problem and if they can overcome it there is the possibility that others can too. Well done, Sandra!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      17/08/2015 at 09:14

      People who have been through it always have a deeper understanding than people who haven’t yet just knock out a book with what to not and not do. Authors really are great, not only do they give us escapism, enjoyment and teaching but also support, it’s the versatility which impresses me most.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • clarepooley33

        17/08/2015 at 21:39

        You are quite right Ste. Books are like the stars in the sky. The ones you can see are beautiful – some brighter than others. You also know that there are thousands and thousands more out there – you just have to search for them.

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          17/08/2015 at 21:43

          Continuing with the space motif, I like to think that the stardust from super nova are the ideas of old books that have gone out into new imaginations and are just waiting to coalesce into more books. It makes me want to trace it back to the book bang as it were.

          Liked by 1 person

           
    • quirkybooks

      19/08/2015 at 03:01

      Hi Clare, thank you so much. I have to agree with you and Ste, that I do think it’s better if you get a book by someone who has actually experienced what it is about, rather than just a paper exercise. That’s why my book is holistic, because if your mindset is not good and not nurtured back to health as soon as possible, that has an effect of your confidence, belief in your abilities, and then your motivation – or lack of it, your job search, interviews and so much more. It’s like a domino effect.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • clarepooley33

        19/08/2015 at 22:51

        It was that that really appealed to me about your book from your description. If someone isn’t in the right frame of mind they won’t benefit from any advice however expert it is or well-intentioned.

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • quirkybooks

          22/08/2015 at 02:02

          You got it Clare. Exactly that. That’s why I try to treat the inner being first, before the other stuff.

          Liked by 1 person

           
  6. quirkybooks

    17/08/2015 at 01:39

    Reblogged this on quirkybooks and commented:
    Author Interview – Sandra Bellamy (Part 1)

    BLOG BOOK TOUR DAY 3 PART 1

    I am really thrilled about this interview, it’s in 2 parts, so I feel very honoured. It goes into a lot more detail about my book and I was asked more probing questions to give fresh insight into how it can help redundant workers or jobseekers. Ste is a good interviewer, because he got a lot more ‘juice’ about the book out of me. Thanks for having me Ste.

    Like

     
  7. Sherri

    17/08/2015 at 11:42

    Great to read my good friend Sandra’s interview here Ste. As Sandra knows, I lost two jobs due to redundancy a few years ago (first time was a shock, the second time gave me the shove I needed to start writing and blogging) and it knocked me for six. Sandra’s book will help so many people going through the painful aftermath of redundancy. I am so proud of her and all the hard work she has put in to what I can testify is an exellently written and presented resource book which positively sparkles wtih Sandra’s unique and inspirational quirky style 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      17/08/2015 at 20:19

      There was a gap in the market for something like this, one minute you have a job, the next you don;t and you just have to get on with it so this book would help to give focus to the newly jobless. It’s been a long journey Sandra’s been on with this but she’s so ambitious and is doing so many things…it’s very impressive.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Sherri

        18/08/2015 at 10:09

        Very impressive…

        Like

         
      • quirkybooks

        19/08/2015 at 03:05

        Hi Ste, thank you. This book would not have been half as good had I published it years ago. Now is the right time and I am starting to film my book trailer later today – for another launch.

        Like

         
    • quirkybooks

      19/08/2015 at 03:03

      Hi Sherri, thank you so much, I love what you have said about my book, I am so glad you have been enjoying reading it and found it helpful.x

      Liked by 1 person

       
  8. shadowoperator

    17/08/2015 at 12:38

    Sounds like a very useful, supportive, and user-friendly book, Ste J! I’m not surprised that you decided to review it and interview the author.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      17/08/2015 at 20:23

      It was an extremely interesting exercise and will open up new posting options, I hope. You know me I like to get involved in as many different genres as possible.

      Like

       
      • quirkybooks

        19/08/2015 at 03:09

        Thanks for the interview Ste, I am blown away with all of the lovely comments – and yes, it will open up more opportunities for you, because your questions really made me think and I like that!

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          19/08/2015 at 17:23

          People really are great, it was something new and interesting to try my hand at. I hope it opens more opportunities for the both of us.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • quirkybooks

            19/08/2015 at 18:51

            I am sure it will Ste. Just taking a break from filming the book trailer – first day of shooting today.

            Like

             
    • quirkybooks

      19/08/2015 at 03:07

      Hi Shadowoperator – Thank you so much for your lovely comments about my book. That is exactly the type of book it’s meant to be. The A-Z formatting makes the material easy to digest and the ‘how to’ style then guides the reader.

      Like

       
  9. Chelsea Brown

    22/08/2015 at 23:31

    It sounds like Sandra didn’t miss a single beat when putting this book together, and it definitely feels like her book could help many people. Also great job with the interview questions Steve.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      24/08/2015 at 19:09

      It does look comprehensive and hopefully will get the recognition it deserves. It seems I did a decent job for a first interview, I look forward to doing more in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Chelsea Brown

        28/08/2015 at 18:59

        I’m sure it will, you can never keep a good read in darkness. I’ll look forward to see who you interview next, your questions were intriguing, and right on the money as well.

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          05/09/2015 at 16:22

          Thanks! I always try to look a bit deeper and avoid too many of the obvious questions…that and I’m nosy hehe.

          Like

           

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