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Guest Blogs

Knowitall.ch often invites local experts in their field to contribute to their own blogs on our site. This means not only you will benefit from the useful recommendations that we make on our News pages, but you can also profit from some of the great advice and tips that these experts have to make on their favorite subjects. Whilst each of these bloggers has been recommended to us at some point during the evolution of Know-it-all passport and  knowitall.ch, obviously we are not able to test out all the suggestions they make on their blogs, nor do we necessarily agree with all their opinions.  So if you do find one of their tips useful (or not!), do let us know!

To make these blogs more accessible to you, we have now decided to group them altogether in one section, entitled Guest Blogs, accessible from our main menu bar.  We will also post the most recent blogs on the home page of our site in the right hand column.

We are still building up this area of the site, and are looking for bloggers in a number of sections, including Your Home, Travel, and Leisure, so if you feel you have a useful contribution to make in either of these areas, and have the time to submit blog entries approximately every month, then please get in touch!

2. Kids and zero waste Apr19 by Unsplash

By Anna Lascols, Organizing Geneva 

Have you heard about headlines such as “Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children”. The Guardian and many other newspapers are trying to inform us on the massive impact our children have on the environment. In fact, a research published in ‘Environmental Research Letters’ states that having one fewer child would save a parent 58.6 tons of COequivalent per year. Which is 24x bigger than living without a car and 279x bigger than recycling. Wow!

It’s shocking and important to be aware of the consequences of overpopulation on our planet. Yet, if you read this article chances are high you already have children; they are part of the lifestyle you have chosen. If you are like me, then you love your kids, you would do everything for them, you want to ensure the best possible future for your them. Sounds familiar?

Cool, but the bad news is that the future is not that predictable anymore. Global warming, animal extinction, pollution, plastic in the oceans…all of this is real, and it’s not getting better. We do not want to live with a constant bad conscience due to our kids’ carbon emissions, that’s for sure. But I am convinced that we can change a tiny bit our habits, adopt some measures, try out some ideas to reduce emissions as a family, reduce our waste and live more in harmony with nature. Every little change counts, will motivate other people to follow the same path, will positively impact our own health and the health of our planet.

You think that this is impossible, that you can’t influence the way your children live, that it’s too much of a constraint and will cost you a lot of money? If that is the case, how about you start looking at zero waste from a different angle? How about turning the idea around and framing it as a fantastic educational and learning experience for your family? You can open your minds to new horizons, let conventions go and find out what your real values are. You can make it a fun family project and challenge (or even competition). You can lead by example and teach your kids values and habits that will become natural and stick with them for life. Preparing them for a better future.

get your stories ready2

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

In presentation training, we focus on storytelling as a way of building emotional connection with the audience. Stories win hearts and minds, inspire and motivate and engage and entertain.

In a job interview, stories can be extremely effective. They will help you stand out in the interviewer's mind and highlight your key competencies.

Often, you will make a series of assertions such as I can help you increase sales, attract more funding or influence legislation. However, you will need to provide evidence for the interviewer to take you seriously. This is where stories, which are based on real-life examples, can help you come across as genuine and credible.

In my job interview coaching, we examine some typical questions, like the ones below, and apply storytelling techniques.

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why do you think you are the right person for this job?
  • Tell us about a time you have succeeded/ failed.
  • How do you deal with conflicts at work?
  • Tell us what you don't like about your current working day?
  • What sort of things do you and your boss disagree about?
  • What is your greatest strength and how will it help you in this job?
  • What do you see as the most challenging part of this position?

steve long coaching blog 2

A good coach will know how to put shy children at ease, photo by Alexia Linn

By Steve Long, InterSoccer

“I never wanted to be one of those dads who drags his son to football,” said a friend to me the other day. “Yet here I am.”

He watched frustrated as his five-year-old son ran around the outskirts of the pitch, played with a ball on his own, trailed after the sister of a classmate who was on rollerskates, and basically did anything possible to avoid taking part in the local club lesson.

“I used to be a football coach,” went on my friend. “I hated those dads who forced their kids to take part. What do you think I should do?”

I took a moment to think. While I’ve experienced pushy parents trying to force their child to do a sport he or she is not comfortable with, my friend didn’t seem like one of them.
Many children are reluctant or shy the first time they try football. No matter how much they enjoy the lesson once it starts, for the first few times it is likely to take some careful persuasion for them to get ready and raring to go.

But at what point is it okay to have to employ negotiating skills to encourage their participation, and when should you call it a day and let them give up?

A key point to consider is your own reasons for wanting them to play. Is it because you think that once they get over their initial nerves they will enjoy and develop through the lessons, or is it because you like the idea of having a child who plays in a football team?

David Beckham famously has allowed his three sons to stop playing football, though he said it was “heartbreaking” to accept that they did not share his passion for the sport. Happily, his daughter is keen to continue.

Jobinterviewimage

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

Every conversation is a presentation, and no conversation has higher stakes than a job interview. To succeed, you need to convince a potential employer you are the right person for the job.

Over the past year, I have been coaching people in the art of the effective job interview - with a 100% success rate so far. This is probably due to the fact that so many aspects of presenting yourself to a future employer rely on presenting and public speaking skills - my areas of expertise.

Here are some tips essential to effective presenting that can be applied to the job interview

Put your self in the shoes of the your audience

Look at every question from the employer’s perspective and do your homework. This means doing a detailed research of the company and what their needs are both today and in the future. With this information, you can explain your assessment of their challenges and opportunities and why you can help them meet them.

For example, when asked why are you interested in the job, you could reply:

"I've had twelve years in customer service positions, with four years managing the whole department. Your position clearly demands a strong service component in areas where I have expertise."

Melitta workshop

© Marta Villacampa, Family Photographer, Gland

By Melitta Campbell www.melittacampbell.com

Being a trailing spouse can be an exciting and enriching experience. You get the chance to not only visit a new country, but to live and experience its people, culture and language on a deeper level than you ever would as a tourist. Exciting as this is, as a trailing spouse myself, I know that it can also be frustrating, lonely and isolating!

One of the biggest frustrations can be finding work. In a land where you don't know the culture, speak the language or have a network, finding employment is no easy task. Being away from friends and family, and having no clear direction or purpose, can lead you to lose confidence in yourself and your abilities – which certainly does not help the job-seeking process!

Since moving to Switzerland 15 years ago, I’ve discovered that I’m not alone in feeling the excitement, but also the frustrations of expat life. That’s why I wanted to share what’s worked well for me, in case it could be the perfect career solution for you as well – becoming my own boss.

My experience of running a business as an expat

When I started out on my own 11 years ago, I barely spoke the local language, I had a small network and I had no experience of running my own business. I also had a bonnie 5-month old baby on my hands!

Starting my own business was not the easy choice. But today, I’m proud of the confident businesswoman I’ve grown into, as well as the many other women I’ve helped to launch their own successful business too.

I’ve seen first hand that even if you have little or no experience, it is very possible to start a business here – if you have courage to commit to your dream and take the first step.

Here’s why I feel owning your own business can be a great work option for trailing spouses…