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?
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.