Category Archives: Reflections

Applying for a job? Its so easy to stand out, so why do so few manage it?

Over the years I have done a lot of recruitment. Crafted job descriptions and ads and then waded through lots of mediocre applications. Even great people often seem to want to seem as lifeless as possible when applying for a job or contract role. OK, maybe that’s how you get to be a faceless number as some big cooperate…

Here’s a little secret, be less generic. Actually read the job ad or description, spend some time learning a little about the company and people you could be working with. Then actually apply for that role. That specific role. The person reading your application needs to understand why you are interested in working for them, not why you want a job.

If you just try a little to tailor the information you provide then you’ll be in the top 5% of job applications.

And if you ever apply to work with me, then be aware that you have 1-2 mins of reading time to catch my attention. I want to work with people who are proactive, fun and interested in this specific role, as well as those with the skills and experience. Convince me of that and then it’s up to me to recruit you, not the other way round.

“Business without meaning is just annoying admin”

You know that feeling you get when things seem too hard?  When your goals and ambitions get lost in a forest of details, complexity and questions?

I felt like that this morning.  In fact I was starting to question wether my public statement of intentions was just a bit silly.  Sure loads of other great people and businesses have built success based on their values and not solely on the bottom line. But who am I to think I can do the same?  I can’t even clearly answer simple questions about my business.

Continue reading “Business without meaning is just annoying admin”

The next stage

Everyone wants to matter. Yet, how many of us truly feel that the work we do “matters”? Or even that our contribution to that work “matters”?

Too many conversations about the dreaded “job” revolve around the negative aspects: office politics, dreading Monday morning, the unfairness of that thing that happened, not getting paid enough, boredom or the pointless nature of much of the work.

That’s just depressing.

There are three places where I have been honoured with the opposite conversations. And by “the opposite” I mean conversations dominated by the positive. Perhaps not perfect, maybe even very far from perfect, yet voices and faces become full of enthusiasm and energy.

Continue reading The next stage

Work/Life balance? What nonsense!

The phrase “work life balance” (or “work wife balance” as my brother in law says) makes no sense to me (hmm, actually work wife does seem potentially more useful… but I digress).

I have struggled with it for many years and am only now beginning to realise why it bugs me so much.  Basically it fundamentally conflicts with my view of life and, indeed, of work. The phrase doesn’t work (sic), its incomplete, its trite and just silly.  Its like saying “wall paper to house balance” or “ball to tennis balance”; its just nonsensical.

What is “life”?
Its this huge, incredibly all encompassing concept.  Massive and complicated and short and inspiring and so much more. Why is work not part of that?

What is “work”?
Something that means completely different things to different people at different times and in different places. Why does it need balanced?  Why is it separate from the rest of life?

Continue reading Work/Life balance? What nonsense!

Success: one day at a time

How is success measured for you?

Earning the money you need for the lifestyle you want? Having and keeping a happy family? Lots of travel and experiences? Climbing the career ladder? A big house full of all your stuff? Respect in the eyes of your peers? Having a positive impact on the world around you? Simply enjoying life? Reaching a comfortable retirement? Success in sport?

I haven’t yet worked out exactly what success looks like for me.  To make it even more confusing it seems to have changed at different times in my life, or even on different days of the last week! Looking back at this summer (Northern summer that is) one day does leap out in my memory as successful.

Not that it was the only day, very far from it, I mean I had an actual summer, with sun and everything (sorry, probably I wouldn’t find that funny if I didn’t live in Scotland).  Just that this day seems to typify how I currently measure success.

Continue reading Success: one day at a time