And the survey says…


Do you ever wonder why people use social media and what for?

As some of you may know, I’m currently doing a Digital Marketing apprenticeship.

I wanted to expand my knowledge about people using social media but do it in a way where I could embed it with DPG. So recently I’ve worked on a very special project to find out how HR and L&D professionals use social media. I created a questionnaire to find out some very interesting results.

This is a summary of the questionnaire I created 17th December 2014 to establish what social channels HR and L&D professionals use.

In total, I received 27 responses with a mix of female and male.

I had a variety of ages participate but the results show that the top age ranges to complete the survey were 35 – 44 yrs and 45 – 54 yrs and all of the participants had L&D and HR roles.

(Click the images to make them bigger)

The first question was “How often do you use:” to find out which social platforms were the most popular.

How often do you use these social platforms

The questionnaire showed that the 3 most popular social networking sites were:

  • Twitter (with 20 out of 27 people using it Most days/At least once a day),
  • LinkedIn (with 18/27 people using it Most days/At least once a day)
  • Facebook (16/27 using it Most days/At least once a day).

This is actually really interesting as I wouldn’t expect LinkedIn to be as popular as the results show, although the participants have professional L&D and HR roles so you’d expect them to be more involved with LinkedIn (known as a professional networking site). LinkedIn isn’t a platform I use much as it’s not very appealing to an 18 year old like me, but if this is a space where a lot of professionals are using it, I’ll probably use it more often to grow my professional connections. However, platforms like Instagram are ones that I use often, but the results show that 70% haven’t used Instagram.

Is this an example of a social tool/social media that appeals to a younger generation?

I also asked the participants how they use social media/what they use it for. Here are my results…

What do you use these social platforms for

The results show that all 27 participants use social media to learn new things, 26 use it to access and read blogs, whitepapers and resources and 25 use it to network or join online groups.

This shows how social media influences how we now find and search for information, it would be interesting to cross-reference other industries and roles to see if social media is also used to learn new things to the degree it’s seen here.

Do you think as HR and L&D professionals and the nature of our roles, we used social media more than in other types of jobs?

I’d welcome your comments on this.

I also asked if any of the respondents were members of any online groups/communities.

Part of any online groups or communities

It was interesting to find out that 26 are members of LinkedIn groups, 17 are involved in Twitter and use lists/chats and 16 are involved in professional networks.

Again this demonstrates how social tools are connecting people to share information and form communities of practice. This is something I’ve learned a lot about as a community manager for the DPG Community.

So to summarise my findings, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are the most popular social networking sites and people are using them mostly to develop their knowledge, find resources like blogs and articles and most importantly, to network and converse online.

So if you don’t have an account on any of these social platforms, perhaps it’s time to venture in to the world of social and start to get the benefits of being more connected.

Don’t be the social Luddite…

See you next time!

I’ll Remember This December…

I’m sure you can all agree with me that the month of December has flown by. Too much paperwork , too little time…

I’ve had a very busy, yet exciting, month of December. Now, where to begin…

UntitledStarted the month off by travelling to London for the CSLE event which turned out a hit! I got the chance to meet Olympian gold medallist, Greg Searle! The event was to bring together senior leaders and managers from across the sector to share best practice and insight. I was tweeting from both @DPGplc’s account and @CSLeadersSum so that was an experience… You can check out the feed here #CSLE2014

After London, it was the famous DPG Christmas Do at the St John’s Hotel in Manchester. We all had a fantastic time and had some amazing food; it was all-in-all a great night.

After all the partying, I had no choice but to take a few days off work to spend time with my family before they travelled back to Portugal. I had a great break (still couldn’t help but sneak on Twitter to see what was going on at DPG HQ) but still got to visit the Manchester Christmas Markets and ate some great homemade food.

Then it was finally Christmas jumper day! I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…

IMG_0092 IMG_0097IMG_0095 lucy s 2 corbin

Then it was that time of the month again…

…another visit to The Apprentice Academy, although this time it was ICT EXAM DAY!

*cue suspenseful music*

I’ve got a good feeling that I’ve passed it though, we’ll just have to wait and see…

Next up, it was time to announce the new DPG logo on social media, have you seen it? She’s a beauty. I think the new logo represents DPG better in what we do and how we do it, more to follow this in the New Year…


Let’s get technical, technical…

I’m helping create a new Social Media Strategy as part of my Digital Apprenticeship and I’m currently looking for feedback on how HR and L&D professionals are using (or not using) social media in general. Have you got 5 minutes? Social Media Questionnaire

Mike and I joined The Apprenticeship Ambassadors’ own Stephanie Hodgson and Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network’s John Doris at the Employer/Employee Ambassador breakfast. As I’m skipping along my Apprenticeship Ambassador path, we thought it would be great for Mike to get involved to basically raise awareness about how good working can be and to share best practice; give something back to the community.

Plus, they served great bacon buttys!

One more thing, did anyone see a familiar face on LearningNowTV last night? Yep, I’m proud to have had my first Learning Now TV debut as I shared my passion of apprenticeships!

So this will be my last blog of 2014 and it’s been a fantastic year for me.

Let’s see where 2015 takes us…

The Only Way Is Up

I’m back for another apprenticeship journey update…

So a few weeks ago I started wondering “What’s the next step in my career?” and I mentioned that I attended an apprenticeship ambassador meeting to explore different options. Well, I finally did my first ambassador talk… in front of a Year 11 assembly!

And not just any assembly, I spoke in an all-boys high school assembly!

lectureSo let’s rewind for a second, I told you guys about my apprenticeship ambassador meeting and how I was looking to develop in my apprenticeship in other ways than just completing my NVQ. You can catch up here if you haven’t already.

Well, Monday 24th November finally arrived and I was dreading it. Thankfully, I found out I’d be doing the talk with another apprentice! (yay)

I arrived at Wellacre High School (early this time) and began to feel the nerves playing up. Our mentor Stephanie got there shortly after and we were both surprised to be entering a sixth form and no, we weren’t lost, the high school and sixth form college were together which was a bit odd and frightening for me as I thought I’d be doing the talk to easily-distracted college students.

We waited and waited and waited… no apprentice to be seen!!! I was mortified.nervous-sweating-woman

I wasn’t about to do this talk on my own, was I!? Steph and I made our way to the high school as I thought of ways to run away, and guess who finally showed up? Apprentice number 2…

So apparently he had already done these kinds of talks before so I planned on letting him lead the presentation. And as we began the talk, surprisingly, I ended up taking the lead.

What was I nervous for? This is a subject I’m passionate about and I was passionate about sharing all this information with these 15/16 year olds.

As I took over, I shared my apprenticeship story and explained to them how college isn’t the only option and encouraged them to explore more routes. I felt like Emma Watson doing her #HeForShe speech, powerful and proud.

You’ll see me on TED in a few years…

So what’s next? What’s the next step for my apprenticeship journey?

Watch this space…

What’s Your Hashtag?

It’s Halloween!!

My favourite time of the year; trick or treating, dressing up and scaring people at work – perfect! Although I can’t help but think ‘Am I too old for trick or treating?’, is there even an age limit? Will strangers still give me toffees and 2p coins when I’m dressed as a DPG ghoul?

Well, unfortunately this blog isn’t about Halloween… it’s about my time at the Social HR Conference I’ve just attended. Well, 2 weeks ago…

I know, I’m a bit late to be blogging about it but I still want to share what I learned at the event with you guys.

So like any other conference, I was expecting it to be all gibberish to me but in fact, I 2014-10-16 10.52.27understood pretty much everything everyone was saying – I was at a conference where I felt confident in sharing my opinion!

Usually, I just sit back and take it all in because I’d end up sharing my input in to a subject I have no clue about… *cue the weird looks*.

When myself and a group of people were sitting around a big round table at Mike’s social learning stream, ideas and opinions were just naturally flowing. We were talking about social learning and what we really thought about social media aka my comfort zone. It was actually really interesting to see what everyone had to say, the different suggestions people made – it was incredible!

One particular lady had literally just joined Twitter that day. It was fascinating to see how someone who’s just been introduced to the social world differentiated with a group of people who can’t get out of it.

At the end of the day, we had to present to the whole event. We were sharing what we had learned that day through hashtags.

Here ‘s the order of the hashtags:

2014-10-16 14.38.37#ScaredtoDeath





#Generations (my hashtag)



Now, you know we were at a social conference talking about social learning and introducing social media to someone. Use your imagination and think of why we used these hashtags, what are their meanings?

What’s your hashtag?

That’s it for now guys, see you in the next blog…

You can follow the hashtag #SocialHRMCR to find out what happened that day.

B0Eu8MsCQAAakYU.jpg large

Shout It from the Rooftops!

Have you ever experienced that feeling of accomplishment when you know just where you’re going in your career?

If you’ve read my last blog, you would know I attended the mysterious Apprenticeship Ambassador Meeting; another step upwards in my career ladder.

I did, however, get to the meeting quite late. You know, the very important, career progressing, life changing meeting.

Blame my dentist and the annoyingly painful retainers she put on me… *cue the sad music*.

So I arrived at the Ambassador HQ and met loads of great apprentices who had some very interesting stories to share about their journeys and what they do. I was really glad to have met other teenagers who have followed a similar path as I have and who have gone down the non-traditional route; very reassuring.

game-changers-logoBecoming an apprenticeship ambassador to me means that I get to spread the apprenticeship word, it means I get to be the face of apprenticeships, the messenger sharing important information about apprenticeships to people who need and want to learn more.

So, when do I start?!

I believe that this is my next ‘step’ in my career ladder. I’ve done a public speaking gig about apprenticeships, I’ve done an apprenticeship video and I think it’s time I share my journey and my experience with others. This is the next step.

It’s incredibly important for me to share the information I know about apprenticeships with you, the public. I’m ready to get out there and show everyone how amazing apprenticeships can be!

I’m hoping I can inform Year 10s, school leavers and college students because I never knew about apprenticeships until I found The Apprentice Academy whilst looking for full-time jobs! I remember being so fed up of college and now I look back and I don’t regret leaving. Some people prefer the traditional route, some don’t know of any other options –ITF and then Little Figs enters!

On a serious note though, I really hope I can open doors to more teenagers and show them that there ARE more options other than college. Apprenticeships obviously aren’t as popular as college or university.

Why would you want to go down a path where you will be paying back your student loan over various years? Apprenticeships offer a wide range of opportunities and open so many doors for your career.

I came in to this apprenticeship not even knowing how amazing everything would turn out to be and how much experience/knowledge I would gain in such a short time.

The sky is the limit! There are many different apprenticeship areas you can enter in to, e.g. Construction, the Built Environment, Art, Media and Publishing, Education and Training, Agriculture and Animal Care, Engineering and Manufacturing, Health, Public Services and Care, Travel and Tourism, Business, Administration and Law, Retail, ICT, Science and Mathematics and more.

If you want to find out more about apprenticeships check out my magazine.

So I’m very excited to begin this new opportunity, this new path and I’ll be sharing it with you guys.

Stay tuned…

Summertime Sadness

Are you feeling it too?

sumertimesadnessYes, it’s that awkward time of the year again where summer and autumn collide and create dull, grey skies, gale-force wind and a lot of people moping around. I’m feeling the post-summer blues.

We all know it’s hard building motivation when the sun isn’t even driven to come out itself! Soon enough, we’ll be leaving for work/college/school in the dark and coming home the same way. Also, is it just me or did summer 2014 feel like it was the shortest summer EVER? I suppose I wouldn’t be a great role model if I was depressing and dispirited all the time.

*bangs head on table*

OK guys, let’s brighten this place up and talk about what’s to come…

I’ve recently come off my sunny holiday (I’m regretting ever coming back!) and I know it’s hard getting back to basics at work or college; I’m like a cavewoman writing with a pen.

Let’s talk about the next step for everyone. Right now, most teenagers my age are moving on to university and going up the ‘traditional ladder’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enjoying my apprenticeship and I can see myself going really far and achieving great things. Even though they’re all sounding really intelligent and all intellectual, I’m experiencing it all ssdigitally!

So, let’s have a little catch up session…

So far, I’ve designed 3 professional websites, organised events, wrote over 25 blog posts, did a public speaking gig in front of over 50 professionals, completed a full year of my Business Administration apprenticeship, gained many professional connections and so much more.

“So what’s next Little Figs?” I hear you ask, well recently I was contacted and asked to become an Apprenticeship Ambassador – it makes sense doesn’t it? This is all so new and so exciting!

My first meeting will be on Wednesday 10th September, don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it and how it goes on the next blog.

I’ve also joined forces with DPG’s marketing manager and my manager Mike to develop our website – how exciting! Huge things ahead…

More big projects to come so stay tuned and stay clear of the summer blues disease…

Video Killed the Blogging Star

Video once killed the radio star, is it about to take over the blogging world?

Recently the earth’s population passed the 7 billion mark and over 2 billion of those are connected to the internet and more than 5 billion have a mobile phone.

When you start connecting that many people with global social networks such as Facebook, then opportunities and access to markets that were local become global.

tumblr_mnnpw53kUU1rha3vbo1_500Recently I asked vlogging expert and Co Founder of The Apprentice Academy, Jim Clarke to share some insight in to his world of vlogging. Here’s what he had to say…

1) What encouraged you to start vlogging?

I kind of fell into it really – I asked one of our apprentices if I could interview his Boss about how he achieved success. Seemed like a fun/interesting way to tell a story. I see two ways to do it – either becoming an expert on a subject or getting your personality out there about life (or ideally both).

2) How often do you do it?

I do On Success once a month and other Jim blogs – when I’ve got something interesting or funny to talk about.

3) How long are your vlogs?

On Success 4 mins and personal ones 1 to 2 minutes (ish).

4) How do you confidently talk to the camera?

I do get nervous but I kind of use the moto  “Just be yourself and just throw yourself in”.eat_20sleep_20vlog_original

5) Any advice or techniques you have?

Have a plan but don’t be too scripted. I might think well the main topic is ‘motivation’ and then think there are three things I want to cover and just remember the 3 topics and not worry about thinking too much about needing to follow a script. I then tend to free-style it.

6) How do I start?

Pick a subject you are passionate about. Mine is about achieving potential and then get your phone – reverse the camera (aka selfie) and go for it.

Some really great advice from Jim for beginner vloggers.

If you have anything to add to this or any vlogging advice you want to share don’t hesitate to tweet me @Little_Figs. I hope this advice has helped you start your vlogging career.

Video_CameraNow it’s your turn!

Stay tuned vloggers…