How to Stay Positive in an Uncertain World

In recent years, the simple act of flipping on the evening news has become a challenging experience for those of us who strive to maintain a positive attitude. Just sitting there in your living room, watching one upsetting news story after another whether on the TV, your tablet, or a smartphone, can cause even the most optimistic person to become a bit jaded.

Of course, negativity doesn’t only emanate from screens. Exposing yourself to toxic people, those surly souls who find fault in everything around them – including you – can bring you down, too. If you aren’t careful to protect your personal boundaries, you can be drawn right into their negative orbit.

So, how do we remain positive and chipper in a chaotic world? How do we protect our own state of mind when we’re around those Negative Nellies? Let’s explore some positive actions that can help us navigate the doom and gloom we encounter out there.

How Negative People Can Affect Our Positive Mindset

Let’s address the “negative people” issue first, since unlike the depressing TV news that we can just turn off at will, it isn’t so easy to avoid negative people. But even if you work with someone who walks around with a storm cloud over their head all day, there are ways to protect yourself from being sucked into their dark vortex. Consider these actions:

Kill them with kindness. Be the yin to their yang, the salt to their pepper. The most effective way to disarm someone who is giving off negative vibes is to counter it with a smile. Pay them a compliment when they criticise you. Mention the beautiful weather when they fixate on the negatives. Be the bright light in their day, and then let it go.

Limit your exposure. Sometimes, a grumpy person is bound and determined to marinate in that negative stew, and nothing you can do will change that. If that is the case, your best strategy is to distance yourself. Make a concerted effort to spend as little time as possible being exposed to that person’s negative energy.

Don’t take it personally. Most of us are sensitive people who feel badly when someone is unkind to us or critical because we can’t help but take it personally. Instead of taking someone else’s bad attitude personally, realize that they are probably not even aware of how they come off to others. They may be going through a difficult chapter in their lives, so their behavior may have nothing to do with you.

5 Ways to Protect Our Positive Attitudes

Now let’s zoom out a bit to consider some other ways our joy can be hijacked by negativity, and what we can do about it:

Limit news consumption. The daily news cycle, filled with a steady barrage of sensational headlines, seems designed to turn us all into news junkies. Resist! Being too immersed in political drama, conspiracy theories, or upsetting news stories is a recipe for negativity. Limit your news intake to an hour a day. Grab the headlines, and then focus on the positive things in your life.

Spend time in meditation. The world is noisy and distracting, and often prevents us from focusing on the positive. One of the most effective strategies to tune out the negative and direct your thoughts towards positive goals and dreams is through meditation. Mindvalley Masterclass guides you toward accessing a higher state of consciousness and personal growth. Instead of allowing yourself to become a victim of negativity, you’ll learn how to shape the world according to your thoughts.

Live in gratitude. Cultivating a grateful mindset takes practice. Be intentional about seeing the positive as you go through your day. Notice how that super friendly checker at the grocery store brightened your morning. Note the kindness of a stranger you interacted with at the post office. Soak up the sheer beauty of a spring day. Look for reasons to be grateful and you will find them.

Surround yourself with beauty. Create your own safe haven, a space that negativity cannot penetrate. Whether it is an office, a home, or a garden, design a place of serenity that feeds your soul. Include items that make you smile, such as artwork or soft pillows or beautiful garden statues. If your sanctuary is a particular room, fill the space with your favourite music, a soothing colour palette, and things that hold special meaning for you.

Don’t let fear, worry, or self-doubt creep in and sow the seeds of negativity in your psyche. If you focus on what is true and good, and expend your precious energy on the things you can actually control, then you will indeed stand firm in your positivity.

The Do’s and Dont’s of Video Interviews

Despite a hybrid return to the office, interviews continue to be conducted via video link as a first port of call followed by face to face second stage interviews.

So, what can you do to ensure you are invited for second interview?

The Do’s

Always ensure you are in a quiet location and that you have a professional looking background.

Ensure you dress appropriately.

Test the video link prior to your interview so you are familiar with it. Also test the sound and picture quality. Have a practice call with a friend or family member so you can adjust if required.

Ensure you have a strong internet connection, and should it fail during your interview you are able to toggle from your phone or have another backup.

Smile and relax, the more at ease you seem the more likely they will want to offer you a second interview.

The Don’ts

Don’t have mirrors in your background which could reflect on other areas of your home or the people within it, it is also best to avoid any personal items like photographs etc as this could be distracting.

Avoid cafes if possible, they tend to be too noisy for interviews and you are likely to be disturbed.

Avoid casual hoodies or lounge wear.

Don’t interrupt the interviewer, use the raise hand function if you have a question.

Don’t move too much, stand or leave the room until the interview is over.

By following these simple tips, you know you’re putting your best foot forward.

For a selection of job opportunities, head over to our job board, you can also get in touch with us via our contact page or connect with us on LinkedIn.

Wind Power Surged Across the Globe

Installations of wind energy infrastructure were up 50% last year compared to 2022, making it a record year for the industry globally.

Some 117GW of new capacity was installed in 54 countries, according to analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Gathering momentum in offshore wind and promising outlooks in developing countries mean the organisation has revised its 2024-2030 growth forecast upwards by around 10%.

However, the GWEC said that policymakers and industry need to unlock more growth to stay on the net-zero pathway.

“Growth is highly concentrated in a few big countries like China, the US, Brazil and Germany, and we need many more countries to remove barriers and improve market frameworks to scale up wind installations,” said GWEC CEO Ben Backwell.

Competency Based Interview Techniques

You made it to the interview stage- Congratulations!

But now comes the all-important interview preparation. As well as making sure that you have done your research on the company interviewing you, it is important that you also ensure you are prepared to answer competencies-based questions.

So, what are competencies………? Competencies are the skills, experiences, behaviours and knowledge you’ll bring into the role. They will have been acquired from previous job roles.

Competencies-based interviews are the most widely used interview techniques where hiring managers will use open ended questions to ask you about previous genuine scenarios where you have demonstrated the use of your competencies.

Below are a few examples of the most asked questions:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Delivering at pace
  3. Making effective decisions
  4. Collaborating and partnering
  5. Leading and communicating
  6. Building capability for all
  7. Strategic thinking
  8. Teamwork
  9. Changing and improving
  10. Organisational skills
  11. Working under pressure
  12. Attention to detail
  13. Handling a difficult decision or situation
  14. Adaptability
  15. Delivering value for money
  16. Resilience
  17. Integrity
  18. Taking control of a situation
  19. Problem solving
  20. Stakeholder management

One of the most widely used competencies-based interview technique used is STAR.

Situation: Describe the background or context.

Task: Describe the task or challenge you were faced with.

Action: Explain the action you took, and how and why you did it.

Result: Describe how it ended, what you accomplished and what you learned from the situation. Relate the skill or ability you’re illustrating back to the vacancy you’re applying for and explain why it’s useful.

The use of the STAR technique will provide employers with evidence of your competencies and strengths. When practising your STAR interview answers, don’t spend too long describing the situation or task – trim any details that are unnecessary. The action you took is the most important part of your answer and should show how effective you were by giving good examples.

Practice with a friend or family member but don’t overdo it as answers that are too well rehearsed can sound robotic.

Good luck!

If you are reading this blog article and you are at the beginning of your job-hunting journey, you may want to read out CV writing blog article.

You may also want to check a selection of our current vacancies by following this link.

And finally…. if you have a any questions or would like to speak to one of our consultants, email us or connect with us on LinkedIn.

How to stay motivated when job hunting?

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

An uncertain economic forecast is leading some companies to hold off on recruiting more staff and focus on keeping their existing employees. Despite this, overall job vacancies still remain above levels seen before the pandemic.  The construction sector is generally speaking buoyant and plenty of opportunities are out there for top performing employees.

 So, what can you do to keep motivated whilst looking for your next role?

Stay Positive

I chose to mention this first of all as it feels the most important but also the toughest at times. Its easy to feel discouraged when you don’t hear back from an employer or if your application is rejected.

To keep a positive outlook, remember it won’t always be like this. Things change eventually.

Set realistic goals

Setting achievable goals is an essential part of staying motivated during a job search. For example, instead of setting out to apply to 20 jobs in one day, go for quality rather than quantity. By breaking down your job search into smaller and specific goals you are more likely to accomplish each one which will in turn give you a sense of accomplishment and help keep you motivated.

Stay organised

As well as the obvious – having an up-to-date CV and professional profile, staying organised can help you stay motivated and focused during your job search. Keep track of your applications, interviews, and follow-up emails in a spreadsheet or document. This will help you stay on top of your job search and make it easier to follow up with potential employers as well as avoids applying for roles twice!

Network and connect with people

Networking is an important part of any job search. Connect with people in your industry or profession through LinkedIn, industry events, or other networking opportunities. This can help you learn about new job opportunities and make Personal connections can often lead to valuable job leads and referrals.

Try out new job boards, explore Slack communities, and connect with hiring managers on Twitter as well as people in your industry and identify potential job openings.

Learn new skills

Learning new skills can help you stay motivated and improve your chances of finding a job. Take online courses, attend workshops, or read industry publications to stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in your field.

Request constructive feedback

This may feel awkward if you have just been rejected but constructive feedback may give you an insight into where you may be going wrong or simply point out areas which may need improvement.

Keep going

Staying persistent is key to finding a job. Keep applying for jobs, following up with employers, and networking. Even if you don’t hear back from an employer or get rejected for a job, don’t give up. Stay persistent, and you will eventually find the right job.

Self-care, taking breaks and celebrating small victories

Looking for work is not for the faint hearted, but in order to stay strong and keep going you have to care for yourself, this means doing small things which bring you joy, or you find relaxing, taking regular breaks, keep moving and celebrate the small victories along the way.

And remember it won’t always be like this. Things change eventually.

If you are a civil engineering or construction professional looking for the next step in your career, we currently have an interesting selection of roles available.

You can check out our Job Board, contact us or why not connect with us on LinkedIn.

Significant law changes comes into place in 2024 for Civil Engineers – mandatory integration of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)

Photo by Justin Wilkens on Unsplash

In 2024, significant changes are imminent for civil engineers in England.

new law will enforce the integration of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) into new developments exceeding 100sq/m.

This is outlined in Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

This shift from the automatic legal right to connect surface water drainage to nearby sewage infrastructure poses unique challenges for civil engineers.

SuDS need to be part of the design

SuDS are not mere add-ons to the build plan.

They demand careful consideration, significantly shaping the fundamental design of developments.

As leading developers proactively adapt to upcoming SuDS requirements, civil engineers play a central role in navigating these changes.

SuDS are designed to minimise the built environment’s impact on the natural water cycle and prevent flooding by managing surface water runoff.

They present a paradigm shift.

Engineered SuDS solutions have become common.

These are solutions like permeable paving and geocellular attenuation tanks, known for being easy to install and cost-effective.

However, a shift towards a holistic and landscaped SuDS approach is gaining traction.

Engineered vs landscaped SuDS

Engineered SuDS efficiently manage water runoff quantity and can support a holistic approach to water quality management.

Landscaped SuDS, incorporating green roofs, rain gardens, tree pits, swales (shallow drainage channels), and constructed wetlands, extend beyond managing water quantity.

They contribute to water quality improvement, enhance amenity spaces, and create habitats for biodiversity.

However, the challenge lies in their limited ability to handle significant rainfall levels.

This prompts a need to combine engineered and landscaped SuDS for enhanced water circularity benefits.

Civil engineers must reassess SuDS strategies to achieve a balanced integration and create more habitable spaces and future-proof developments.

The four pillars of sustainable drainage

There are four pillars to SuDS:

  1. water quantity
  2. water quality
  3. creation of amenities
  4. creation of habitats for biodiversity

These pillars guide engineers in aligning their strategies with evolving expectations and potential future regulations.

Buyer preferences are increasingly influenced by these pillars, reflecting concerns about flooding risks, water quality, the importance of green spaces, and the need for sustainable environments.

Article written by Martin Lambley -Institute of Civil Engineers

Race Equality at Work

Celebrated week of the 5th February – 11th February 2024

Race Equality Week is a UK campaign that asks its participants to address barriers to race equality in the workplace. The campaign invites organisations and individuals to take part in anti-racist activities such as raising awareness, engaging senior leaders in the importance of anti-racist work cultures and sharing activities throughout the week.

Recent research has found that two in five Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority colleagues experience racism at work. This includes racist jokes or “banter”, racist remarks, being made to feel uncomfortable at work due to people using stereotypes or commenting on their appearance and bullying and harassment.

Many employees will experience this type of bullying and harassment but will choose not to report this behaviour because they do not believe they would be taken seriously, or fear reporting would impact their career or workplace relationships.

Research also suggests that institutional racism impacts performance assessments, disciplinary procedures, who is subject to scrutiny, who is denied promotions and development opportunities. It is important to call out racism to prevent it from

There are many ways to commemorate Race Equality Week at work, including:

There are some great organisations out there such as,  and who have free resources you can use, as well as provide training and so much more.

At Intersect Global we are involved in promoting and improving fairness, inclusion and respect in the workplace in the Civil Engineering, IT, Energy and Construction sectors. We encourage positive attitudes to diversity and inclusion, and this includes race equality.

To read out our fairness, inclusion and diversity statement, click here

Looking for your next job opportunity or for help to fill a role; then head over to our Job Board or to our contact page.

Back to work: 5 tips to revitalize after your holiday break

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

It’s hard to come back to work after the longest break you’ve had all year. The few days between the last working day before Christmas and New Year’s Day often pass in a blur, and it can feel impossible to return to work with enthusiasm and determination right after the holiday fun; your body and mind likely aren’t going to give 100%. But don’t be too hard on yourself! The key is to take it one step at a time.

Here are some tips you can follow to get back on top of your game without causing further exhaustion after the holidays. 

 1. Take it light

This is the moment when most of us make a list of resolutions for the new year. While it’s nice to start fresh and work on your goals, you can also take this time to reflect on the last year and make realistic decisions. The best thing to do is to go easy with your New Year’s resolutions. Research has shown that almost 23% of people quit their resolutions by the end of the first week, so don’t just load your list with a bunch of plans. Instead, pick one goal for every month and work towards achieving it. 

2. Less planning and more action

One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make is planning a lot at the beginning of the year and getting lost in a sea of action items. This overwhelming feeling can be avoided by taking one step at a time without planning the entire course. As Brian Tracy notes in his book Eat That Frog!, when you have an ultimate goal, breaking the tasks down into simple goals helps you concentrate and provides better results. This also ensures you always stay on top of your goals without putting too much pressure on yourself.  

 3. Indulge in holiday delights

Holiday treats aren’t just for the holidays. Sometimes, it’s okay to indulge in activities you usually do during your time off—like grabbing a cup of hot chocolate or baking a batch of brownies—just to remind yourself that not all fun is lost once the holidays are over. 

 4. Try to establish a work-life balance

It doesn’t always need to be about work once you step into a new year. A Frontiers Psychology study found that proper work-life balance improves job performance by enhancing job-related satisfaction. This implies that for greater overall success, your number one priority should be to find a balance between your work schedule and your personal life. As the old adage goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so try to strike an equilibrium. Take sufficient breaks, go on a walk when you feel overwhelmed, and plan your time off to avoid burnout and improve your quality of life.   

 5. Do something you’ve never done before

New experiences always fuel the soul. To make this upcoming year more entertaining, find things that interest you and channel your energy towards them. In the process of learning or doing something new, you will end up rediscovering yourself without the concerted effort. 

While getting back to work can be daunting, you can still make the best of your days ahead with simple yet fulfilling activities. 

Article by Sheryl for

M Group Services buys decarbonisation specialist

Infrastructure contractor M Group Services has acquired decarbonisation and energy efficiency specialist AgilityEco.

Andrew Findlay, M Group Services Chief Executive, said: “The acquisition of AgilityEco represents an extension of our capabilities to deliver essential services to our existing energy and local authority clients.

“These services enable our clients to meet their regulatory obligations and support the delivery of their ambitious decarbonisation agendas.

“Acquisitions with adjacent capabilities serving existing clients are a fundamental part of our continuing growth strategy and we are delighted to further enhance our Group capabilities with the acquisition of AgilityEco.”

Sharon Johnson, Managing Director of AgilityEco, said: “We are excited to be joining the M Group Services Energy Division, which represents a great opportunity for our people, our clients and our partners.

“Being part of M Group Services provides access to complementary capabilities and enhances our ability to provide a differentiated offering for our clients and partners. This strengthens our platform for growth, and as a purpose-driven organisation, it ultimately enables us to support more vulnerable families living in fuel poverty and to prepare Britain’s homes for Net Zero.”

Simon Best, Managing Director of M Group Services Energy Division, added: “We are delighted to welcome Sharon Johnson and her team to M Group Services. AgilityEco has established a leading position in the market over the last decade and brings a strong set of adjacent capabilities to our Group, which we are excited to provide to our clients. We look forward to supporting the delivery of AgilityEco’s ambitious growth plan in the coming years.”

Article by Grant Prior –