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Author Interview – Sandra Bellamy (Part 2)

17 Aug

777  – What inspired you to reach out and help people who were struggling with getting/getting back into work?

I have been made redundant twice and each time managed to successfully work my way back up the career ladder. When I was made redundant for the second time in my career in 2009, after dealing with the initial grief, I discovered I had a talent for writing outstanding cover letters to accompany my CVs that got me almost one hundred percent response to my job applications. That seemed unheard of, particularly in a recession. Upon reflection, I realised I had great insight into what an employer was looking for in a CV and cover letter, because I had recruited as part of my management roles. It was then that I decided I could help others who have been made redundant to get back into work and I could use my passion of writing, to enable me to do this. I also noticed how frustrating it was to have to trawl through website after website, trying to search for jobs, recruitment agencies, and courses, as well as information about the various aspects of redundancy, such as dealing with the grief of it. I wanted just one website to go to, that would give me access to all of these and that’s when I had the idea of http://www.beatredundancyblues.com and http://www.beatredundancyblues.co.uk. These websites are your one-stop resources for redundancy, with access to job sites, recruitment sites and course sites, from within the one site. Just like the book, they tackle numerous other redundancy problems such as time management and preparing for an interview.

I was in management roles for seven years. Part of my management duties entailed interviewing, recruiting, training and coaching staff and I took part in every aspect of the recruitment process from placing the advert to completing staff inductions and training. I have also experienced the other side of the recruitment process, when I was applying for work and being interviewed for jobs whilst redundant. It is from experience that I have gained insight into both points of view and feel uniquely positioned to help others.

 – How long did it take you to refine your concept down to something manageable that you could focus on exploring and writing?

Interesting question. In fact, my process wasn’t like that, that’s not how I work. Especially with a ‘how to’ style non-fiction book, I didn’t refine my concept down, I rather build it up. So I got all of the A-Z chapter titles first, with a brief outline of what I wanted to say in each chapter, and then I began to write and fill out the concept of that whole chapter with relevant content. Later, I came up with their sub headings based on how the content best flowed and what I needed to highlight. My manuscript was edited a humongous amount of times and was originally 134 A4 typed pages, now it’s 175, and the cover for my printed version needs to be re-done as my book currently works out at 333 pages in a 6×9 format.

I am glad it has taken me this long to write the book, because before, it wasn’t ready. It wasn’t to my required standard and it didn’t all gel together as I would like. In order to finish writing this book, I had to live life a bit more, to learn a ton of new skills to help myself and others, and to have certain experiences. All of this stuff I didn’t know about back in January 2012, when I first started to write this book.
I am guided by my creative inner intuition and that tells me what I need to write and when. It also tells me when the time is right for publication and when there is still more work to be done. It’s a quirky concept that I guess can be hard to get your head around, particularly as my methods of writing are somewhat unconventional. I guess it’s a bit like when writing a fiction novel and the characters tell you what to write and they guide you to how they want their story to be told, this is a similar sort of thing. Although it’s more like my soul is guiding me to help others and this is how it wants me to do it. – That was deep, huh! I think I mentioned this book takes a holistic view of redundancy and getting back into work. I guess you could say it’s been produced in a holistic way too.

 – As well as completing your book you also have your websites (insert links in here later Ste J, don’t forget), how do you find the time to give them all the attention they deserve?

111 This is a good question and it’s hard for me to admit, that I do struggle at times. In the main, my 16 fully functional live websites take care of themselves; apart from I need to update the plugins for them whenever I get the chance. But when it comes to a more major change, like creating a new page/s, or adding a new event or content/features, and I have to do this for multiple websites and work with multiple different templates, with variations on settings; it can prove very time-consuming and therefore difficult for me. I have to prioritise my workload as there is only one of me and I also have 11 Facebook pages to manage and my personal profile, 9 Twitter accounts and a LinkedIn Account. Besides my regular YouTube QuirkyBooksTV channel and Google+ pages to be kept updated and post content to. I also have my own future E-Book store http://www.quirkybooks.net that I bought some time ago, but still has dummy text on it until I can get more books published. All of my websites make up my World Of Quirky Organisation and form my Quirky Academy. I created this picture that’s in my book, to better understand how all of my businesses work together.

World Of Quirky, incorporates my education hub Quirky Academy; Quirky Training, Quirky-Marketing, Blog Trainer UK, Quirky Mentoring, Quirky Coaching, Beat Redundancy Blues, Quirky-Books and Jobseekerpreneur, all are underpinned by my Embrace Your Quirky philosophy – That is about being your authentic self, regardless of what anyone else says, thinks, or does. Quirky Academy provides a range of products and services for your personal and professional development, all the while embracing quirky you! I specialise in business mentoring and social media training and marketing for business and personal use: WordPress.com, Facebook and Twitter.

 – So what’s next for Sandra Bellamy?

I am going to finish the printed version of my Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy book, because I have people wanting to buy it in that format. I also want to spend the next months up until Christmas, creating and producing content related to my book, to give people more of a taster of what’s in it, to highlight some of its key concepts and provide more help. I will be doing a lot of this on my QuirkyBooksTV YouTube channel and through my blogs.

I want to develop my Quirky Academy Education hub; providing a range of products and services for your personal and professional development. By expanding on what I currently do and offer. So I want to write more books, I have another 7 or 8 in mind in a range of topics, and I want to create online training courses relative to my books and areas of expertise. This includes social media, namely Facebook, Twitter and blogging with WordPress.com, as I currently teach people these, both as an aid to recovery for the NHS and on a one-to-one basis for people who run a business. I am currently training the owner of 4 shops in Facebook for his business and that is ongoing. I also do business mentoring.

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21 Comments

Posted by on 17/08/2015 in Blogging, Interviews

 

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21 responses to “Author Interview – Sandra Bellamy (Part 2)

  1. shadowoperator

    17/08/2015 at 21:31

    Hi, Ste J. One thing that might be interesting is a series of guides marketed particularly for the U. S. market, in the sense that we don’t call it “redundancy” and that there are probably a few differences in the things necessary to concentrate upon, though it does sound as if the books and ideas Sandra has provided are amenable and flexible to an American audience as well. I particularly like the personal angle provided in these items she mentions, the “supportive self” lessons and personal advice. I think too many job hunt books just take a chipper, chirpy tone about these things, and leave it at that, neglecting them. I admire her meta-dialogue (i.e., the way that while she is explaining about her books and sites and her techniques, she gives an example in and of the conversation itself, incorporating her job-hunt skills in the way she markets her books in convincing us, and etc.).

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    • Ste J

      17/08/2015 at 21:37

      That’s a very good point, the differences in terminology over your way and a few tweaks would help more people on a subject that is universal. The relentlessly positive approach a lot of books take don’t bother to factor in that it is tough to be motivated, to not give up hope, it’s all down to the frame of mind of the individual as well of course but a helping hand like this could do well, especially the self employment part.

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    • quirkybooks

      19/08/2015 at 03:31

      Hi Shadowoperator. Thank you for your lovely and insightful comments about me and the way I explain things. It’s very interesting to know how others perceive what I am about; and yes, there is a lot of things in it that will prove universally helpful across the globe. I totally understand where you are coming from with the ‘redundancy’ factor being different. However, the book does have a lot of ‘universal’ helpful information that is relevant to many different countries. Someone who connected with me through my http://www.facebook.com/quirkyacademy page lives in the USA, and she has bought my book because she wants to use it to change careers. Living in the UK and never having been to the USA, I didn’t want to talk about things I didn’t know about in the book. Especially as it is from my personal experience.

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  2. Jeff

    17/08/2015 at 22:39

    So are you recommending her books? If so, why her books as opposed to the alternatives?

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    • Ste J

      18/08/2015 at 20:16

      I admit, I haven’t read all of this book but I got the gist and found what I did read to be very handy. I haven’t read much in the way of alternatives, when I was unemployed I spent far too much time reading and writing to to be focussing too much on the job search, I liked to think of it as living life to the max, because I’m trendy like that.

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      • Jeff

        18/08/2015 at 20:49

        I find the range of jobseeking related books mind-boggling. I seem to have recently started to get interviews really easily, so I’ve probably cracked CV and application presentation. Now I find interviews are, these days, morbidly obsessed with describing skills that I’ve had for donkeys’s years but never needed to provide the illustrative examples for, and these illustrations being either detailed or summarised, depending on what’s expected, what with mind-reading being another application / interview skill. I don’t know whether to include jobseeking books in my upcoming reviews of motivational and self-help books. Hmm.
        I know what you mean about the loss of focus when jobseeking. Reading and writing offer rewards, while jobseeking offers regular knock-backs that you have to quickly recover from. It’s good to see a book blogger, btw, branching out into subject areas that are rarely covered by book bloggers.

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        • Ste J

          18/08/2015 at 21:23

          I wouldn’t mind the knock backs if I got them but the majority of the time there was nothing at all but these companies don’t have the time, I remember a few fortnights where I would leave the actual seeking until the night before then just hammer out a loads of applications and have done with it, not ide al but without the blog I think I could well have descended into the Jeremy Kyle and a can of Stella phase to which there is probably little chance of escape.

          I didn’t really thing about it as something different because I am short sighted and colour blind, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it, I really should push my thoughts that way more often, keep things fresh although at the moment a book review would actually be something different. I think jobseeking books would go well with the self help books theme, as you say it is something not usually approached by book bloggers so much.

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        • quirkybooks

          19/08/2015 at 03:44

          Hi Jeff, thank you for your interesting comments. I am glad you are getting interviews more easily these days and I understand the problems you are facing with needing to give detailed explanations to answer certain questions. I have a simple formula in my book about how to answer ‘tough’ interview questions. There is also a chapter that deals with personality profiling. With redundancy, it’s like you overcome one hurdle, and then it’s the next – keep plugging away, keep being determined to succeed, and learning how to do each stage, and you will achieve success. My book is in the self-help category on Amazon and I hope that others will read my ‘story’ in it and feel motivated and inspired to achieve their own goals, ambitions and dreams in life. I am going to start filming my book trailer later today, and hope to inspire and motivate others with it. It will be great to know what you think about the trailer when it’s out.

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  3. clarepooley33

    17/08/2015 at 22:44

    What a woman! I wish her so much success. Thanks for a great couple of posts Ste. Your questions were very apposite.

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  4. macjam47

    18/08/2015 at 22:33

    A great interview. Sandra is one very busy person, and proof to the saying that if you want a job done, ask a busy person.

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    • Ste J

      19/08/2015 at 17:28

      Haha, indeed, I wish I was so devoted to my blog, then I would be able to get more out there, still no point complaining when I could be doing!

      Liked by 1 person

       
    • quirkybooks

      20/08/2015 at 22:06

      Hi Macjam47. Thank you for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. quirkybooks

    19/08/2015 at 04:05

    Reblogged this on quirkybooks and commented:
    BLOG BOOK TOUR DAY 3 Author Interview – Sandra Bellamy (Part 2)

    This is part 2 of my interview with Ste from http://www.bookmust.wordpress.com. I am blown away by such admiration in the comments for my book and that people seem to really understand where I am coming from with it, and they think it will be a useful book.

    Please read the second part and let me know what you think.

    GREAT NEWS – Later this morning, we start filming my Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy book trailer – I will be playing my own character. You won’t have seen this type of non-fiction book trailer before. Watch this space!!

    Like

     
  6. Andrea Stephenson

    20/08/2015 at 18:33

    More interesting stuff, thanks Sandra and Ste.

    Like

     

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