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12th Aug, 2011

Dear JCI member and friend, Solveig Malvik, JCI UK

As the economy in the UK and Europe is getting worse and worse and people are taking to the streets in frustration or picking up a gun (as in my home country, Norway), JCI offers real and proven opportunities for you to take control over your career. Ways you can stand out, help your community and make the best of your opportunities.

In JCI we are busy preparing for 2012 and there's lots of opportunities for you to get invovled. Check out the opportunities for roles on national board for a truly national and international network, talk to your local president for opportunities on the local level and how you can help your local community, and read our blog to get inspired on what is going on across the country already.

I'm Solveig Malvik and I'm the Deputy National President for JCI UK 2011, I'm also Immediate Past President JCI London (2010). I'd like to share with you how JCI has helped me in my career, how it can help you, and how we in JCI can make a positive difference in our local communities.

10 ways JCI can help your career (and your community) - and how it helped me!

JCI has been incredibly helpful for my career. I just (last week! yay!) started a job as Head of Marketing, part of the Senior Management Team at a national training provider, and I can tell you that I would never have gotten this job had if I had not been involved with JCI.

I want to share with you how that happened to me, and how you can make the same happen in your life - it if is a better job, more control over your career, a promotion, better career opportunities or simply just getting better at what you do. And all this while working with our local community making them Be Better too.

  1. Challenge yourself - Last year, mostly because no one else wanted to, I got the opportunity to represent the UK in the JCI World Public Speaking Championship at the European finals at the 2010 JCI European Conference in Denmark. And lo and behold! I won! So off I went to the World Finals in Osaka, Japan, 6 months later. Was I nervous? Yep, what an understatement. But by that time I was also prepared. People from all across the organisation, both in the UK and abroad, had been helping me to make sure I was able to do my best. When I stood there on the platform I was nervous as I knew I was being judged, but I also felt incredibly lucky and loved, knowing everyone just wanted me to do my best.
  2. Go outside your comfort zone - Yeah, the public speaking championship was pretty far outside my comfort zone. Though the things that have taken me the furthest outside my comfort zones are not the big flashy events. Its the smaller things where every day I've had the opportunity to try something I wasn't comfortable with and get positive results. From sending this email to you, to chairing a meeting, speaking to Senators, all the way to speaking in the House of Lords. JCI offers you lots of little ways you can learn something new and useful.
  3. Take every opportunity to learn something new - I never thought I'd find myself in marketing. And even less head of a marketing team. But I've always been interested in communication and in managing people, the how's, why's and what's. So I've always been curious. Read and listened. And taken every opportunity to try things out. Managing a project team in JCI with the Entrepreneurial Academy, working on communication with the newsletters and websites of JCI, learning what works and what doesn't. One of the best ways to learn something new? Get involved in JCI on the national or local level in 2012. Take on a director role or a project, have fun! try something new!
  4. Think inside the box, then do the other thing -It's a cliché to think outside the box - have you thought about what it looks like to think *inside* the box? Write down all the obvious things? Then write down the exact opposite? Then you write down what you can actually do. And just go do it. That's one of many tricks and ideas I've learned in training sessions with JCI.
  5. Build a global network - In JCI we say we want to be "the world's leading network of young active citizens". And we are. We're the largest organisation of like minded people in the world. And we're all over the world. And we're connected. It's a big kick to go to somewhere like Manila and have people from all over the world asking you about your new business and how they can do business with you. This is what JCI does.
  6. Build a trust based network - A network isn't how many names are in your contacts book, but how many people know you and trust you, people you can count on when things really matter. JCI isn't a networking organisation, but the network you get in JCI will be with you for life. Its people you've worked with, laughed with, cried with. Its real connections. Real friends. People who will help you for life.
  7. Help yourself, help others - In JCI we don't believe in business for the sake of business, but business as so far it can help develop our community. The mind-set of "Be better", always looking to see how we can go that extra mile (or meal), do things just a bit better, make things better for the people around us.
  8. Give back - Giving back feels good. Helping others feel good. We know that most of us join JCI for what we can get out of the organisation, but the majority of us stay in the organisation for what we can give back, for what we can help others do. In JCI you get to be part of the bigger picture, help your local community through local projects, or help fight malaria in Africa (funnily also through local projects here in the UK, it's amazing what a local project can do, really).
  9. Surprise yourself! - When I joined JCI I barely dared talk to the local president and I thought the national president was something similar to a semi-god. They were intimidating and awesome people I highly admired. I could never ever see myself as a local president. And national president?!? You must be kidding me! And here I find myself - past president of JCI London (2010) and future National President for JCI UK. And it's all happened awfully fast but been awfully fun all along the way.
  10. Remember to have fun! - It's been busy and gone fast but I've done things I've never ever dreamt of and had more fun than I ever thought I would. From visiting the tsunami stricken areas of Japan and getting in the middle of a tsunami warning ourselves, touring the UK with the world president (he's awesome! and really really nice!), setting up my own business on the back of my JCI experience to the weekly and monthly meetings with our amazing and always interesting members - it's all been fun. And I'll keep going as long as it keeps being fun, that I can promise you.

Check out the opportunities for you on National Board 2012 or find opportunities in your local chamber by talking to your local President.

If you want more inspiration, come to the JCI UK National Convention in Sheffield in November! (here's how awesome it was last year, this year will be even better)

Help us Be Better!
Do you have an idea for how we can do things differently or better in JCI UK? Please share it with me. It doesn't matter if you've been a member for a year or a week, any idea is welcome.

I look forward to hearing from you! (and maybe working with you next year, on local or national level).

And if you want inspiration for what people have already done, and read more about the things I've been up to, check out the JCI UK blog!


Blog » my signature.png






Solveig Malvik

Deputy National President JCI UK 2011
Marketing Director JCI UK 2011
Immediate Past President JCI London (2010)
Certified National Trainer (CNT)
2010 European Public Speaking Champion


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9th Aug, 2011

Find Your Happy Place
by Nadene Jones on August 9, 2011 12:03


One of the greatest way to allowing life and all its abundance is to have absolutely no resistance to it. What do you mean by that you ask? Well its really quite simple, just decide that you are going to enjoy your life regardless of what life may throw at you.

One of the greatest ways to live your life to the fullest is to have absolutely no resistance. How?? Simple, just decide that you are going to enjoy your life regardless of what life may throw at you.

The truth is life is not always going to be sunshine and lollipop but you can make the decision that your attitude will be. We don't mean ignore the not so frequent downpour; acknowledge it and dance in the rain. There is always a lesson to be learnt.

How do I do that? Well a few pointers......

* Pay attention to what you are thinking and saying - thoughts have wings

* Release any anger or resentment you may be harbouring - bad for your health and business

* Focus on what you want - what is is a reflection of your past thoughts, move on

* Feed your thoughts with material that will help - try turning off the TV for a week

* Launch your rockets of desires - life is about living an adventure

* Tell someone in your life how amazing they are - watch out for the boomerang!

* Do not let your current circumstances shift your focus - the truth is within you






** Comes from an unknown website but thought I would share these tips in the hope that one or two will enlightn your day! -- Nadene M Jones, JCI London Social Director 2011

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19th Jun, 2011

Work Life Balance Event
by Sarah Beckwith on June 19, 2011 17:34


JCI London members and friends are invited to this interesting event on WORK/LIFE BALANCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Monday 4th July 2011
Irwin Mitchell LLP, 40 Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1N 2PZ
5.30pm: Registration
6.00-7.30pm: Seminar
7.30pm onwards: Drinks and Networking

Event description:

Over the last 20 years there has been a sea of change concerning maternity leave and flexible working and this has been welcomed by all professions. But in reality how practical is it to manage family life with a successful career - must everyone make a choice or is it now really possible to "have it all"? You are invited to hear our panel speak about the issues facing individuals in the 21st century, their experiences, views and the law relating to flexible working and maternity leave.


  • Alison Eddy (Partner , Irwin Mitchell)
  • John Hayes (Partner, Irwin Mitchell)
  • Rachel Langdale QC (7 Bedford Row)
  • Elaine Banton (7 Bedford Row)
  • Chair: Hanisha Patel (Chair, AAWL)


To book your place at the seminar please email Leena Savjani (Irwin Mitchell & JCI Manchester) at by 1st July 2011

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12th Jun, 2011

Top 5 Tips to Finding Your Career Calling
by Sarah Beckwith on June 12, 2011 20:45


Many of us who feel the time is right to change careers often find that we don't actually have any idea which career field we want to shift to. What would be really suitable for us? What would we not only be good and great at, but also enjoy? What are we passionate enough about to make a career out of? As overwhelming as these questions might initially seem, if we break down the process of deciding upon our new career into several steps, we'll find it more manageable and will increase our chances of successfully finding the right career.

1.  Reflection Time

Although it may seem obvious to say you need to reflect on yourself and your life to identify your passions, it's easier said than done. It's not natural for us to take time out and reflect upon our interests, preferences and experiences, but it's absolutely essential to finding a career we'll be passionate about. Sit down, get a pen and piece of paper, consider the following questions and write down whatever comes into your mind.

  • What are your hobbies/interests? Include activities from throughout your whole life, from childhood onwards, that you still enjoy doing. If you can find a way to get paid for what you love doing anyway, then that's great.
  • What are your beliefs/principles? If you're passionate about a particular cause or feel strongly about a certain issue, acknowledging this may help you to identify a career or employer organization that is aligned with your beliefs and objectives.
  • Which aspects of your current career are you passionate about? Even if you only really enjoy doing one thing at your current work, use that as a potential basis to build your new career around.
  • What are you good at? We tend to be good at the things we enjoy and to enjoy the things we're good at. If you really can't think of yourself in terms of your talents, ask those who know you well, or think about what people ask you to do most often. If you're asked to do certain things frequently, it's most probably because you're good at them.

2.  In depth Research

Once you've gotten clearer on what you care about and what you enjoy, you can start thinking of career fields that match up with that. For instance, if you're interested in elderly rights/care and you enjoy campaigning and interacting with others,  research charities that offer advice, support and services to the elderly and/or draw attention to social or legislative issues affecting older people. Look at the organizations' websites or literature to get an idea of the different roles they employ people in. Phoning up an organization is also a good way of getting information on what they do and who they employ, as they're often happy to help in any way they can.

3.  Experimentation

A great way of finding out if you could be passionate about a certain type of work day-in, day-out is to of course try out the work. Volunteering is an accessible and convenient way of doing this, as you get a taste of the work with relatively little pressure and you need not commit full-time-there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in the evenings or at the weekends, or for one or two days during the week. Don't feel you have to be limited to volunteering for a not-for-profit organization either; business volunteering is becoming increasingly common. Many volunteer opportunities also include on-the-job training, which will look good on your CV and will help develop skills you may need in your new career.

4.  Networking

Talk to people within your network who seem passionate about their careers. Firstly, being around people who get that kind of energy from their work-and invest it back in-may help stimulate your own passions, giving you a clearer idea of what they actually are. Secondly, if the people you talk to are in the career areas you're interested in, you'll get the insider's view on what it's really like to do the job every day. Whatever you do, there are some days when you won't feel passionate about your work, or you'll feel discouraged-you know this already from your current work. Find out from others what these days are like in your potential new career field.

5.  Gaining knowledge

If, by now, you're serious about changing to a particular career field that you believe aligns with your passions, you may need additional training to be competitive in that particular labour market, or you may just want to learn as much as possible about the job and how to do it. In this case, look out for learning or training opportunities near you. Check in with your local further education college to see what relevant courses it offers. Some community centres also run classes and short courses. Ask around for a private tutor or go to your library and take out books that you can use to teach yourself certain skills.



Nisa Chitakasem, is the co-founder of Position Ignition - a career consultancy dedicated to helping professionals with their career change, job search, career choices and career direction.



The next Position Ignition "Career Options Workshop" is being held on the 30th June at 6.30-9pm.

This will be a practical 2.5hr session with career expert and ex-HR Director, Simon North. He will talk you through a creative evaluation of your options to help you discover what opportunities may be available to you and what you might like to consider doing. This workshop will be interactive and in a small group setting with light refreshments available.

The workshop is £75 plus 'bring a friend for free' or £65 for JCI members.  Please use booking code JCIJune

For more information or to sign up please visit the Position Ignition website:

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5th Apr, 2011

10 Steps on How to Make a Career Change
by Sarah Beckwith on April 5, 2011 21:08


by Nisa Chitakasem, co-founder of Position Ignition Ltd

If you are considering a career change then this is an exciting time for you. Nowadays, the number of times people change careers is several times greater than in previous decades. We have more choice available to us and if we are smart about it - we can make the transition smoothly and effectively.

Finding the right next career for you can be challenging to do especially if you're doing it on your own.  Moving into a new industry, sector or completely different type of role - will mean that there is new learning to be done and lots to discover. Making this change isn't a small transition and requires some thought - so the following steps are outlined for you to make sure that you start out in the right direction on your new journey...

1. Invest in yourself

This journey is important - so give yourself time to work it all out.  You will need a significant amount of thought, consideration, time and investment in order to make this change smoothly and to make it the right career change.  There are many key stages and turning points to consider so take the time to do it.

2. Get Clear, Seek Clarity

Without real clarity about what you want to do or how to get it, achieving any sense of fulfilment or being in control of your future will be very difficult.   Therefore it is really important to work on getting clear about what your central goal is and how to achieve it.  If you want to learn about the different ways to do this then feel free to drop us a note.

3. Create an action plan

Simply knowing what you want will not ensure that you get it.  You need to be clear about your plan of action - what steps you are going to take - and how to carry out what you have specifically designed for yourself.  Get clear achievable steps in place.  Outline it so that it is broken down into steps that you can work through towards that bigger goal.   Reward yourself and be proud of yourself as you get through each stage of your plan. 

4.  Be totally focused on the task

Making a change and finding the right role is not always an easy task.  It can be tough, tiresome and long.  You need to stay really focused and be efficient around where you put your energy and effort to get the outcome you want.  Make sure that you are in control of the key elements in your world and are able to drive forward with the career and life of your choosing.  You will need perseverance and determination to help.  Being smart about how you spend your time is crucial. 

5.  Understand your strengths

Get to know yourself better.  Identify what your key strengths are.  What are you really good at?  What do you enjoy that you are also good at?  What skills have you learnt? What are you naturally inclined to do and be better at?  Make sure that you get right to the core of it.  The more you know yourself the more confident you will become and the better you will be at identify the right role for you and projecting yourself in order to get it.

6. Get Passionate

Without real passion for a role - it will be difficult to get.  Even if you do get it - you will find it difficult to maintain and grow within and beyond it.   What you want here is the right role.  This means something that you are truly passionate about.  It might take a bit of experimenting to find what 'floats your boat' - but it will be worth it when you have found it. 

7.  Be clear about your boundaries

Being clear about what works and what doesn't work for you in order to be happy can be groundbreaking.  Set the boundaries. It sounds simple but so many of us do not actually take the time to work it out.   In each different work situation - we may have different boundaries. By being clear about what they are and then communicating this clearly to others and staying true to what is important - will make a huge difference.  This impacts work and your personal settings.

8.  Learn how to manage relationships better

This is important from all aspects.  If you learn to manage your relationships effectively you will be able to control the process and transition.  You will be able to manage your exit smoothly from your current or old role.  Understanding where your old boss is coming from and the impact you have on him/her - and how you interact could really influence how you leave a job.  How you get your next job and keep it may also rely heavily on your ability to manage relationships well.

9.  Harness your connections

Improve and build on your networking skills.  Learn how to harness your network and connections effectively.  This does not mean bombarding people you do not know with emails or adding everyone you can find to linkedin.  Neither is this picking up as many business cards you can at a networking event and calling that person part of your 'network'.   Real networking is about getting to know people. You need to work on identifying and getting to know those who can help you along your way. 

10.  Get free from your blocks, fears and insecurities

All of us have them at one stage or another.  Many of us keep them for years. However, do not let them stop you.  If you are afraid - that is ok - just do not let it take over and control what you do or do not do.  If something is blocking you from moving forward - take the time and action you need to confront it, deal with it and resolve it.  This does not have to be done alone.  Find support from those around you.  Get support from a professional if it is a deep personal issue that is troubling you.  If you do not deal with it now - it will keep blocking you in different ways throughout your career and life.  Once you have worked through the blocks - you will be so much more energised, comfortable, confident and free.


Those are the 10 pieces of the pie that you must do before or as you start your journey and change careers.  Each step requires some work, time and thought - but they are important if you really want to make it work.  There might be a lot to do - but you are not alone and you CAN do it.


If you'd like professional help with your career, request a free no obligation phone consultation with one of our career guides now:


About the Author

Nisa Chitakasem is the founder of Career Change Specialists Position Ignition - a careers company dedicating to taking you to the next step in your career.  Nisa is passionate about helping individuals find the right career path for them whether it involves finding a more rewarding career, making a career change, figuring out the right career plan or being creative about career directions. 

Visit: or email: to contact Nisa.

For more free advice, guidance and information from Nisa visit: Position Ignition Career Change Blog or find her on Twitter: PosIgnition


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21st Mar, 2011

Top 5 Interview Tips from Position Ignition
by Sarah Beckwith on March 21, 2011 21:02



Article from Career consultancy Position Ignition - here to support you through your next step in your career

Whilst your CV or job application is what gets you the job interview, the interview is what gets you the job. A job interview is your chance to show your potential new employer what value you would contribute to the organisation. So many of us struggle with selling ourselves and doing ourselves justice, but by following these tips we can approach job interviews with confidence-getting the result we want.

1. Do your research

You'll feel more confident and at ease in an interview, and therefore will be more likely to perform well, if you've done your research. Check out the organisation beforehand by looking at its website, social media profiles, press releases and anything else online you can find on it. Look at newspapers and magazines for articles written by, or about, key individuals within the company. Ask your contacts if they know anything about the organisation.

2. Demonstrate your natural energy and passion

It's one thing to say you want the job because you're passionate about that particular type of work or the industry; it's another thing to demonstrate it. Look alert and don't talk in a monotone voice. If you're used to using your hands to express yourself, don't be afraid of doing so now. By showing energy in the interview, you'll convince the interviewers that you have plenty of energy to invest in the job.

3. Be active

Remember that an interview is a two-way process, just like any other conversation. Be both engaged and engaging. Interact with the interviewers to make the interview into the conversation it's meant to be. When we think we're being 'grilled' we tend to tighten up and be passive at best and defensive at worst. Don't fall into this trap, but instead be stimulating in the way you portray yourself.

4. Use examples

One of the major mistakes we make in a job interview is to simply list our qualities or experiences in response to each question. Anyone can turn up and do this-the interviewers want to know about you in particular and they want evidence that you're all the things you say you are. Instead of saying you're adaptable and leaving it at that, give an example of a time where you had to adapt to a new situation, perhaps by doing a task you wouldn't normally have to do. You can use examples from both your professional and personal life.

5. Prepare some questions to ask

Have some questions ready for when the interviewer asks if you want to ask anything. This may seem obvious, but it can't be stressed enough. Not only do you avoid being tongue-tied, but if you've researched and prepared some genuinely intelligent questions, it's another sign that you're truly passionate about this job and organisation. Also, it gives you the chance to find out more about the role and employer.

For more practical and easy-to-follow interview advice from Position Ignition, check out our interview eBooks today! Visit Position for further career related articles, information on workshops or to book a free no obligation phone consultation with one of their career experts:



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