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dianaDiana Ritchie, owner and founder of SCC Sarl, will provide you with some useful tips for boosting your professional performance. Diana has been operating successfully in the region for over 15 years, providing career-related counseling, networking and coaching to partners and spouses of international employees relocating to Switzerland.  She has been training herself on conscious awareness (authentic leadership) and job-related topics, and provides expert trainers through a special initiative called NotchUP Training.

Successful Career Centres
Boosting Professional Performance


notchup jo anne

By Diana Ritchie, www.scc-centre.com

This is the first of a series of articles that will describe each worksample in turn.

Have you ever noticed that when you happily do certain tasks, jobs, activities it does not feel like work but rather like pleasure. No one needs to pay you – you would happily do it for free! We often call these activities “hobbies” – what we do in our evenings and weekends – when we are not working.

Society has taught us that work is not meant to be enjoyable and that we work so we can afford to do what brings us joy. The new generation does not believe in this old model they want to enjoy their life (including work) and I believe they can.

So, whether you are intrigued to learn more about yourself, looking to change jobs, direction or if you are a parent and you want to support your children to make the best choices for their education, future career and life then keep reading to learn more about the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB).

I will debrief the report with you in a 2-hour meeting to interpret the results. For students I help you identify what subject choices are best suited to you as well as where and how those abilities can best be leveraged in your career journey. The test is equally beneficial to students with learning challenges.

Natural Abilities are a measure of Driving Abilities. How easily you complete a worksample defines how “naturally” the underlying aptitude comes to you. Each worksample is timed to reflect your innate abilities and not your skills.

notchup jo anne

By Diana Ritchie, www.scc-centre.com

In today’s business environment, how to persuade and entertain an audience is of paramount concern and there are a large volume of books and articles out there on how to give a great presentation. But nothing replaces the opportunity to learn, practise and get feedback on delivering powerful presentations in a safe environment of like minded peers, who equally want to learn and grow professionally.

We’ve all attended a training session, a meeting or a conference where the presentation was, shall I say it – awful.

I was at one yesterday, where there was so much text, and we were sitting so far away that everything was a blur and my frustration started. I paid to be here, and I was spending my time to learn something and it was not happening. I was at another presentation earlier in the week, where the presenter was speaking to the slide, even though the slide was only a picture – what did he need to read? It was disturbing. Rule number 1, also face the audience and keep them engaged.

A presenter should speak to the audience not the slide. But how many of us have done that? Another speaker at the same conference had 4 points to share with the audience and gave us time to discuss, then ran out of time after point 2, rushed through points 3 and 4 and told the audience it was our fault that we ran out of time, as our discussions took too long.

How did that make me feel and what impression do I have of this guy’s organisation?

career scc

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / freedigitalphotos.net

By Diana Ritchie, Spouse Career Center and Swiss Career Connections

It reminds me of the saying, what do you want to do when you grow up?  We all know that when we grow up we will work, but do we all know that we get to choose what we do when we grow up?  As a student I didn’t.  I studied Economics at university because my father was a successful business man and wanted his children to study commerce.Well I did not get into the faculty of commerce at McGill University and since I liked and did well in Economics in my final year of High School in Toronto, I took the next best thing, a BA in Economics.  My real first job out of University was selling Life Insurance and I was very good at it and I enjoyed it because I was good at sales.  Was this my dream job? No, but it had aspects of what I enjoy, a flexible job, meeting new people, helping people and being creative.  

Statistics show different figures but in summary about 80% of people in the Western world do not like their jobs.   Jobs as we know them today are a legacy from the industrial revolution and the terms they used have stayed with us to the present; terms such as compensation (meaning payment for your time at work), labour (referring to staff) and Human resources (similar to natural resources).  Work historically was not meant to be enjoyable and even today we work so we have money to do what we enjoy.  What if our job was what we enjoyed?  I sometimes hear people say, “Why should I be paid for doing something I enjoy?” I would like to believe that we are coming around to the idea that work does not need to be hard and unpleasant, that getting paid to do something we like and enjoy is the norm and that employers (and many are starting to realize this) are responsible to their employees to ensure that they are happy and enjoying their job.  Evidence of this is the ratings on the best employer published by Forbes, CNN, Guardian, etc.

elpitch web

By Diana Ritchie, Spouse Career Center and Swiss Career Connections

Swiss Career Connections recently ran a workshop entitled “Inside secrets to becoming a top candidate”. Held at the Chambre Vaudoise du Commerce et de l’Industrie (CVCI) http://www.cvci.ch/ in collaboration with International Link http://www.internationallink.ch/, the workshop was designed to help those looking for “the edge” on how to secure a job in the Lake Geneva region. Judging by the feedback of our participants, many of our secrets were particularly well received!

One topic that was covered in the workshop was the so-called “Elevator Pitch”. This is such an important part of the job search process that we are frequently asked, as experts on the topic, to provide more information on how it works at local seminars and workshops. So, I thought as a gift to everyone, I would share with you the elements of a successful elevator pitch so you may also benefit.

What is an Elevator Pitch? An elevator pitch, as the name indicates, is a pitch that is short enough to fit within an elevator journey. Why is it necessary? An elevator pitch is seen as a hook that incites the receiver (the person you are speaking with) to say “tell me more”, to pose follow up questions, to ask for your business card, to invite you for a meeting, or to refer you to someone else. Why is this important? Well imagine you are face to face with the manager of your ideal job, or the golden client, or a colleague at work and he asks “So what do you do?” Do you have an answer prepared or will you stumble your way through, perhaps losing an opportunity?


By Diana Ritchie, Spouse Career Center and Swiss Career Connections

I was speaking with a friend the other day and she was explaining how she feels like she has been held back by the notion that she wants to and has wanted to move back “HOME” every since she arrived in the region some 11 years ago.  She still waits for her visits home to cut her hair, to do her shopping, to stock up on her favorite food items, and does not partake in all that is offered here, as she waits to go “HOME”. She also spoke with envy how a mutual friend managed to get a job in a foreign country – here where she lives.  Her feeling of frustration at not knowing how to move on with her life “HERE” is common and felt by many expats, newcomers, and even old-comers.

Do you share her feelings of straddling two countries, one foot here and the other foot on “HOME” turf?  Do you feel like if only I was “HOME” I would know how to find a job, and could get on with my life, but here it feels like my life is on hold, or much worse, unpleasant?

As Managing Director of the Spouse Career Centre and Swiss Career Connections, a qualified Sophrologist, and an NLP practitioner, I have organized and will assist in the production of three workshops, designed to help participants make the most of their time abroad.

diana240A new career support service has been set up in the region to help English speakers further their career development in Switzerland.

Called Swiss Career Connections, the service is being provided by the Spouse Career Centre (SCC), which has been operating successfully in the region for over 9 years, providing career-related counseling, networking and coaching to partners and spouses of international employees relocating to Switzerland.  Until now, this service was provided exclusively to multinational companies for the benefit of their employees.

Describing the new service, SCC Director, Diana Ritchie, says, “At Swiss Career Connections we believe a career support service should provide a 360° approach to active job-hunting.  From the start, you will be supported by our trained and experienced career coaches on a one-to-one basis. We will help you to develop and profile your skills, know-how and experience, keep you motivated and on track, prepare you for effective job searching, and guide you through the application process.  We will also show you how to use your network more effectively and build upon it as well as benefit from ours.”

She continues, “Experience shows us that this approach adds value in a number of key areas.  Not only does it give you a better understanding of how to position yourself in the Swiss job market, but it also improves your self-marketing ability and your competencies awareness level.  By improving your access to and impact on potential employers, it ultimately increases your chances of securing employment.”

Clients will be able to choose from four packages, each tailored to individual needs and budgets.  The table below shows the key elements of the four tracks on offer (Smart Support Services), with descriptions for each.