Fiona Neumann Skills Savvy Interview
Getting back into work after taking time off can sometimes seem like building a skyscraper with no instructions. Impossible! And without that shooting star or magic lamp, you're never going to get that perfect position right?
Well we have found your work Genie to make all your work wishes a reality with Skills Savvy. If you're currently looking for a job and do not know where to start, or returning to work after a break, then Skills Savvy can untangle your ugly uncertainties, and help you find the job perfect for your circumstances.
Whether you've stopped working for 6 months or 15 years, it's no easy task marketing yourself in a daunting and changing business world.
With over 20 years' experience, Fiona Neumann combined her two passions, recruitment and Human Resources, to create Skills Savvy. Skills Savvy helps individuals tackle their career issues through personal coaching, workshops and online and phone consultation.
Fiona is highly recommend in her area, taking the time to investigate needs and skills of each client to be able to search for the best job matches, and help them be equipped for whatever lies ahead.
Not only will do you receive practical tips from an exceedingly experienced team, but you are with others who are going through exactly what you are.
Skip the time consuming hassle, 'Time is precious, especially if you're a parent returning to work. You may not be able to work 40 hours a week, but you still so much to offer," says Fiona.
You are no longer left scratching your head over resumes and interviews, as Skills Savvy takes away all confusion of the recruitment process. Leaving you empowered, informed and ready for your job search.
Save the time skip the stress, achieve your dreams.
Interview with Fiona Neumann
Question: What is Skills Savvy?
Fiona Neumann: Skills Savvy mission is to deliver job seekers with a personalised service that offers them Encouragement, Support and Advice they need to achieve their dream job. My main focus is help parents return to the workforce. I help them with all their pre-recruitment needs. For example: Help writing their CV, prepare for an interview, understand their strengths and what job opportunities are out there that offer flexible work arrangements.
Question: What inspired the idea behind Skills Savvy?
Fiona Neumann: My background is recruitment and I have my Masters in Human Resources. When I was on maternity leave with my second child I decided I wanted to stay at home with both of my boys. At that time I had two boys under two. I wanted to have flexibility and work around being with them as much as possible. They grow up too quickly. So I decided to start my own business called Skills Savvy. I work from home and I have the flexibility to be with my boys and run my own business.
Question: How did you go about beginning Skills Savvy?
Fiona Neumann: I started by doing a lot of research on the internet on how to start a small business. I also attended a few workshops. It wasn't until I joined some great networking groups, did I really begin to learn about starting a small business. I wish I started networking prior to starting my business, it would have saved me making many mistakes.
Once my website was complete, I put a few adds on line and I also exhibited at the Pregnancy, Babies and Children's expo in Sydney to get my name out there.
Question: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Fiona Neumann: Yes, my background is Human Resources and Recruitment. I have worked in the Call Centre Industry for 20 years in a variety of positions, consultant, Team Manager, Manager, Recruitment. I have 12 years management experience and 10 years recruitment experience. I have completed my Masters in Human Resources and I have also spent a little bit of time teaching HR subjects at TAFE.
Question: What types of people use Skills Savvy?
Fiona Neumann: Skills Savvy is a service for anyone who is looking for help with all things pre-recruitment. For example CV's and Interview techniques. My target market is helping parents return to the workplace. As a parent myself, I know how difficult it is to find a flexible job and I also understand how daunting it is to look for a job after being out of the workforce for years. I have helped parents, grandparents, anyone really who needs/wants my help.
Question: Can you talk about the success Skills Savvy has?
Fiona Neumann: Skills Savvy has helped many people (parents) realise their potential. The workshops that I run help people gain confidence and in turn they have taken my advice and found a role that makes them happy.
Question: What's a typical day like, for you?
Fiona Neumann: It really depends on the day for my boys attend day-care 3 days a week. On these days I plan in advance as to what I need to have completed. My life is all about prioritising and setting realistic expectations. My work day is typically 10.00am until 4.00pm. I work with my calendar very closely and I try extremely hard not to get side tracked. My morning will usually be spent on social media and organising blogs that I need to write. The afternoon is used for meetings/webinars and writing any updates for my website. Networking is very important for Skills Savvy whether it is online or over the phone or face to face. So a lot of my time is used for networking.
Question: How can we achieve a successful work/life balance?
Fiona Neumann: Planning is the key. I use a weekly and monthly calendar and I plan everything. It is flexible to a point where I can change things, however I try not to. By writing down my plans and times it makes me accountable and it also makes me focussed. I can sit down at my desk on Monday morning and already know what needs to be done and by when. I find the times I forget to update my calendar and I sway from using it, is when everything becomes unstuck. I can sit at my desk and do odd tasks which take me all day, but I have not really achieved anything for my business.
My family is the most important thing in the world to me, so I made a promise that I would not work on weekends and I haven't since I started my business. Over the past 12 months I have worked out where my prime time is and tried to utilise that. For example I am extremely productive early in the morning. I get 80% of my work done in the morning. In the afternoon I fade so I make sure I do tasks in the afternoon that do not involve too much thinking.
I believe when you run a business at home around your family, you need to communicate with them often and make sure that your time and energy is being spread around.
Question: What tips do you have for employees returning to work after extended leave?
Fiona Neumann: My three main tips are:
Finding a job is hard work, you will need perseverance. Please don't give up after a few knock backs. There are jobs out there for us all, we just have to be patient. You will find your dream job.
Identify what job/industry you want to work in. This will narrow your search making it easier for you to search for your dream job instead of just any job.
Be prepared to retrain and learn new skills.
Question: How can mother's, who are returning to the workplace, prepare and become job ready?
Fiona Neumann: The first thing I ask any mother/parent who is looking at returning to work are:
1. Why do you want to return to work?
2. Are you returning to your previous role or are you looking for something new?
3. What hours/flexibility are you looking for?
The answers to these questions will help me prepare them to become job ready. Generally speaking, the majority of people I meet with are looking for a less stressful role, less responsibilities so they can focus their energy on their family and not their job.
Question: How do we know when we're job ready?
Fiona Neumann: Finding a job can be stressful and it is hard work, so a person will know when they are job ready for they will be determined to face the odds and gain employment. Being job ready means that you are mentally prepared, confident and ready to find your dream job.
Interview by Brooke Hunter