At the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature, we met a lot of quirky personalities, but Heather McGregor only took a minute to have us bewitched.
Her charm and infallible sense of humour, albeit powerful, isn’t the best thing working in her favour; this versatile businesswoman is a Financial Times columnist, known as Mrs Moneypenny , relaying useful career advice for the young and the old.
She also runs an executive search business and has 3 children [she refers to them as cost centres], present on TV for a series called Supscrimpers and is the author of 6 books including Mrs Moneypenny’s Financial Advice for Independent Women (2014).
Take a look and soak in Mrs. Moneypenny’s wisdom as we ask her what’s on your mind:
Q. Today, what are the key factors in increasing one’s employ-ability?
I am often sent many CV/resumes to look at and I think it is key that you have at least 3 main items (be that employment, education) that someone can quickly pull from your CV/resume by only looking at it for 45 seconds. In today’s world of moving fast, you need to be able to make the right impact quickly.
In my best-selling book Careers Advice for Ambitious Women, I say that all successful careers are built on human capital (what is on your CV) and social capital (the contacts you have). You need a strong CV and good contacts – together they equal great employability.
Q. To writers/bloggers starting out, how do they go about getting more views/increasing their audiences (assuming they have no advertising budgets)?
I think using Twitter is very important for increasing your audience and viewers. It is a free tool that increases your voice to a very wide audience quite easily. I have recently taken to using Twitter as I noticed someone had a parody account as Mrs. Moneypenny.
As great as Twitter is, it’s easy to be misrepresented and misuse! Make sure you regularly Tweet and engage with the people who tweet back and mention you; regular content is key.
Q. What is the biggest drawback of being a women in the workplace?
One of the biggest drawbacks is finding the time to fit everything in. Between work, family commitments and other interests and activities, which just as important, it is hard to find the time to balance it all.
Q. If you could give women one piece of financial advice, what would it be?
My piece of financial advice would be to educate yourself about your finances and try to gain as much financial knowledge as possible; one hour a week on your finances should be every woman’s goal.
Educate yourself on your situation and how you could change the situation you are in. Ask as many questions as you need and find people who can help you answer these questions if you are unable to do it yourself.
Q. What percentage of their income should newly-employed individuals save, when starting out on their own?
This is very much based on where you live, living costs, your employment situation etc., but I would say try to save 10% a month. A better way to put it is this: whatever you save each month, at the end of the year go out and spend half of it.
Then save again for another year and do the same. You will soon be saving more every year than you spend!
Q. How do you find a balance between giving your audience what they want and retaining your editorial direction?
I think it is a hard balance, but that’s also because an audience can come from so many different backgrounds. When I did a show in Edinburgh, there were often large sections of the audience who had no idea who I was!
I try to tailor my stories to who I am speaking to, or writing for, so it is as relevant. But I never write about anything or anyone that I don’t find interesting or funny myself.
Featured Image Source: www.bbc.co.uk
Do you have any questions for Mrs. Moneypenny? Tell us in the comments below: