300 words on… sweaty palms

Recruitment, urgh.

I had a fair-sized team with a high turnover rate, so rather than do any actual marketing (as per my job title), I spent most of my time interviewing.

Here’s some thoughts, from the other side of the table:

  • Show up five minutes early. More makes you incapable of managing your time, and is intrusive on my day. Late is not acceptable. Arriving exactly on-time is considered late. Remember to allow time for the lift, the wee, the calming breaths…
  • It’s better to show up in a suit in a room full of jeans, than in jeans in a room full of suits.¬†Air on the side of caution.
  • If you are collected from the reception area and walked to the room by your interviewer, make small talk, do NOT walk in silence. The office location, the weather, anything…
  • Be nice to the doorman, the receptionist, everyone, you never know who they are and who they might speak to.
  • If you’re nervous, it’s OK to say that. It actually has a remarkable effect of calming you down. I interviewed a young guy who was so nervous, he was shaking and had a clammy hand (more on that later). So I acknowledged that he was nervous and that I wasn’t a monster, and I made us both a cuppa. I got him to chat about his journey in and we naturally flowed into the interview. He ended up being one of the best in my team.
  • Handshake, god, please get it right. Dry, firm, brief. Don’t be clammy, don’t wipe it on your trouser leg, don’t do a Stone Cold Steve Austin bone crusher, don’t do it for longer than one second, because then we’re just holding hands and I’m not best pleased.
  • Background and experience are important, I’m not about to hire a doctor to be a plumber, but if you are friendly and likeable and well, normal, I’m going to hire you over the slightly-creepy-vibe-giving or dull-as-dish-water guy every time, even if his CV is that bit more relevant than yours.
  • Ask about the culture, the team, the socials, what your day-to-day would be (job descriptions are generally bollocks). You might just need a job, but try and get one you actually like.

Good luck x


300 words about… touching base

Ah, touching base. The worst of the worst of all the corporate world bullshit speak.

Particularly painful and shudder-inducing for me, given my entire career up until a few months ago, was spent surrounded by aged men. The sort with a twitchy hand on your lower back, the “if I were ten years younger” ones, the ones with their bellies threatening to burst out from their suits and their jawlines merging with their necks. I bet they’d love nothing more than to touch base. Excuse me, whilst I vom slightly.

The circling back, drilling down, wrapping up, even the least offensive ‘kind regards’ now makes me cringe… oh, how I thankful I am to be shot of it all.

But for year, years, I loved it. It was my circus, my playground, and I owned it. I loved the pencil skirts, the board rooms, the death by powerpoint and the networking drinks with the impossible-to-eat-in-any-dignified-way-so-you-just-give-up bowl food. I loved the internal politics, the power-plays and the HR bollocks.

I think I loved it because I liked proving people wrong. I was too young. I was a woman. I had tattoos, nothing major back then, but enough to just subtly poke out from my collar or skirt. I had a flash of bright red amongst my brunette. I had a hole where my nose piercing lived on the weekends. I liked proving that a twenty something girl in a room full of balding old men could pique their business minds and make shit happen.

But, today, I sit at my desk next to the too trendy exposed brick, listening to Eminem on the office Sonos, wearing a cropped blouse with bunnies on (thanks, Topshop), Dr Martens boots (8 eyelet patent black, of course), with my ripped jeans showing a hint of my now fully tattooed leg. I’m talking to the girl opposite about the staff jolly to Berlin we’re all heading off on tomorrow morning… It’s a different world. One most people would kill for.

But for me, I love both. Maybe I will touch base with some old colleagues.

300 words about… blogs

Who gives a shit what I have to say? Sorry for the swearing (it’s going to happen, a lot).

Maybe I’ll make it useful? Maybe I’ll talk about my career so far? Share some tips? Maybe I’ll just talk about my favourite things? I’m a mum now, maybe I’ll write about that? But, there are a LOT of mum blogs. I like politics, maybe I could write about what a twonk Trump is? Make-up? Interior designs? Tattooists?

Or, maybe I’ll just write some utter waffle for my own sake, and if someone else finds it entertaining, then great… I just miss writing, so I’m going to write.

These are some of the thoughts that went through my head when I thought about setting up a blog. Once I decided to just do it, I then had to figure out how the hell I set up a blog…? I’m an old woman when it comes to technology. Someone told me to listen to a podcast the other day, I just nodded, knowing full well I wouldn’t know how to find it. (I’m 31 by the way, not 92…).

I presumed there was a free (because I’m not that committed yet…) platform, or something… Good old Google led me here. I recognised wordpress, and it’s nice, it has a nice name and therefore I’d have a nice web address, not something stupid like “blogs4u.cheap”.

So, what next? A name? A hook? Ah, 300 words. I liked this. I like reading, a LOT. But, anything longer than a few paragraphs, I like it to be printed. Also, I simply don’t have the time to write a novel (the ultimate dream) I work, I have a baby, I volunteer, I gym, I live. 300 words is perfect. Two thirds of a page (with single spacing, of course). Doable. Enjoyable.

So there we have it, 300wordsabout.wordpress.com. Let the opinionated, whimsical, stream-of-consciousness and occasional diatribe commence.