Work

To most of us a necessary evil, but there is a simple way work can be made more bearable and, God forbid, enjoyable. My observation from twenty-five years in recruitment is that most of us can get more enjoyment from simply understanding and accepting our relationship with work. Rumour has it that people who’ve strong relationships in work are happier, more fulfilled people and by getting a handle on this, and by playing to our strengths, it could even be a bit of a hoot. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, grateful people gotta thank, leaders gotta lead and the ingenious gotta invent!

you’re fired…

So, the CV looked good and succeeded in getting your foot in the door. You sailed through the first interview and sounded almost half-credible in the second. The offer was made and job done, literally and metaphorically. Now what? Well, according to author, David Graeber, in ‘Bullsh*t Jobs’ up to half the population believe their jobs have little or no meaning and that “it wouldn’t matter if they didn’t do them”.

you’re hired…

Having misspent my whole life in recruitment, I’m forever being asked to cast a critical eye over pals’ CVs or run through the tough-interview-practice questions with them, and in all honesty, long may it continue as I love it! Mind, it does appear that every so often, someone somewhere announces that they’ve reinvented the recruiting process and can ensure a far more successful outcome than I was ever able to.

the art of the deal

With over a trillion dollars being spanked on mergers & acquisitions in the first quarter alone, 2018 is shaping-up as a helluva year for deal makers the world over. And with the recent Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank’s swallowing of Branson’s Virgin Money, the pace shows no sign of abating anytime soon. Having once sold a bit of a company, before then seeing it flogged to a US organization, I know first-hand that such deals always make sense. On paper at least.

brave new world

Over the last month, wee Tom, has been wrestling with the decision of whether he should stay within his stable, long-term, relatively well-paid chosen career of teaching or strike-out on his Jack-Jones and place himself at the mercy of the booming gig economy. Having taken a somewhat similar decision thirty years ago, I’ve been able to see both sides and have voiced an opinion or two when asked, but it’s his shout: you pays your money, you takes your choice.

to reconfirm or not to reconfirm

Act now! You’re important to me. You do still want to hear from me, don’t you? I’ve updated my communication policy and will not let anyone else use your data. Probably. Yeah, right, like I’d give you the chance of bowing out and not receive my raucous rants.

come friendly bombs…

Having spent a lifetime in recruitment (reincarnation intones I must have been one helluva bad boy in a previous life) people often feel free to vent their spleen at me with regards to recruiters not acknowledging their application, never calling them back, providing feedback and/or not doing much of value in the first place. In many instances they’re probably right and the whole industry does seem to lack the most basic regard for courtesy and manners, with the general consensus being recruitment agents occupy a space on the evolutionary scale somewhere between mould and arthropod.

under the hammer

Having been fortunate enough to have undertaken business directly with Steve Jobs back in his NeXT days I was intrigued to see that a job application, submitted by the supreme being, will imminently go up for auction. With an estimated value in the tens of thousands it was reassuring to see his spelling, grammar and punctuation was just as poor as it had been in his hand-written and faxed offer-letters some twenty years later.

top tips for tip-top tycoons

Having started my own company in the pre-VC/dotcom boom and then being fortunate enough to being involved with a couple of start-ups thereafter, I’ve been lucky in seeing how circumstances and ambitions can change and develop over time. Here’s some food for thought that the current crop of founding entrepreneurs may perhaps find of value.

it’s not rocket-science

You’d be forgiven for thinking that just because, in the dim and distant past, I’ve sold a business, I’d have half a clue as to the pitfalls a budding entrepreneur would face when approaching such a task. And of course, you’d be wrong! This has been clearly shown to be the case over the last couple of months as Tibit positions itself to trade its soul in some Faustian pact with the investment community. Everyone talks of exit whereas I’m still on the ‘growing a profitable business’ page. But, with the availability of cheap money, acquisitive trade-buyers all fearful of missing out, and lots of private-equity cash sloshing around, there’s apparently never been a better time to sell a business, and it made me think of how I’d go about it, second time around.

taxi! taxi!

As an ex-owner of a recruitment company that often ‘employed’ over 125 freelance IT contractors I fully appreciate I’m on thin-ice with regards to the recent landmark decision made in respect of gig-economy’s golden-boy, Uber. By ruling in favour of the individual drivers, the employment tribunal is quite rightly questioning Uber’s protestations that their drivers are not grafting directly for the firm, but thriving entrepreneurs in their own right and consequently, working for themselves. Complete twaddle.