Or is it afternoon? Is it September here?? Forgive me if the blog has a somewhat improvisational tone today but I arrived back in the land of the long white cloud at 6 am yesterday, you know your brains not at the races when you refer to the airport as the plane station! I hope that The Whiteboard faithful have been missing my ‘manchild’ musings over the past few weeks but first and foremost I would like to thank Anastasia ‘Triple Threat’ Lee for boldly entering into the fray and quenching the masses with her unique perspective in my absence; that’s candidate management, community management and blogger extraordinaire.
I’ve been over in Europe for the past three weeks with my wee kiwi girlfriend and I felt somewhat of a duty of care to give her an overview of Continent. In the past three weeks, we flew through London, Paris, Napoli, Capri, Barcelona, Liverpool and back to my birthplace of Jersey for my best mates’ wedding. Needless to say, my pressure on the pulse of NZ recruitment has subsided in the past weeks so in a predictable move I thought I would focus on the perils of taking time off in recruitment, a bold move especially in what is the ‘meat’ of the year.
1. Relax & Unwind
We work in a fast-paced industry so it is crucial to relax and nothing works better than putting a few time zones between you and your desk. If you don’t forget all your usernames and passwords on your return to the office have you even been on holiday? You don’t want to go away and feel like you haven’t switched off, the classic “I need a holiday from the holiday!” is in my experience, the epilogue to the frequent flyers manifesto and is often met with sympathetic nods. However, it is solely up to you to untangle your brain and get some perspective, that that thing you were stressing about endlessly the week prior maybe isn’t the be all and end all after all?
As my primary duty as best man was to deliver a speech that hit directly on the emotional funny bone I felt that what I was actually doing was presenting my best mates’ new wife with a bit of a handover in truth. It is the cornerstone of the leaving pact, the give and take, the assurance that if you are indulging in the dark side of hedonism then your handover better be detailed and thorough. As a heads up, I think it is wise to leave your handover with someone with a semblance of common sense, possible someone who’s back you’ve scratched previously as the realization that they aren’t getting paid for this extra work will dawn at some point so it helps if you have stacked some brownie points. Lucky for me I have the Godfather of Recruitment Don Rice to go over my handover with a fine toothcomb so my three page cutely highlighted word document has often evolved into a New Testament of clients to get back to and candidates to meet up with.
3. Consultant Conditioning.
I talk to recruiters all day and night and with a significant other who also works in recruitment you can imagine our raunchy pillow talks consist of candidate attraction and fee generation. You only notice the small idiosyncrasies when you’re taken out of your natural habitat. For example, I found myself caring a little too much about bringing home the title of mini putt champ when I and the missus faced off. Realising that in lack of my usual competitive vent of getting a deal across the line that this competitiveness is entwined with my own DNA and apparently hereditary as my wee nephew proved in the arcade last week. Also, apparently, it’s rude to ask how much people earn annually!? Much like how I imagine the taboo of asking a lady their weight and age must subside in the medical profession.
Recruitment sharpens a lot of senses; business development, time management, networking but I think more than anything my organizational skills have greatly improved. With an average of a plane every 2 days, over a number of budget airlines, with accommodation ranging from boutique villas to clinically clean hotels planning is paramount. Having almost accomplished a full morning, no closer to tackling the inbox, I can say that I feel that I truly made the most out of my time off. The early mornings were, of course, a drag and if you are ever going to throw a tantrum about heaving your missus’ suitcase across Europe 4 am is going when it’s done. But as the philosopher Nasir Jones said “sleep is the cousin of death”
5. Don’t agree to do a blog!
Although somewhat specific to me I think this rule of thumb can be extended to anything that requires a lot of insight or legwork. Not in a lazy way but as most of the industry is British there is some degree of jet lag to be expected for most returning consultants. Do not organize a client meeting/candidate registration on your first day back, you want to be in a position of knowledge and give whoever you are talking to confidence that you’re not some caffeine fuelled insomniac. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t try and weasel out of this week’s blog but Sean Walters morphed into Peter Parker’s boss with an insistence for content like pictures of Spidey!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog brought to you in part by Berocca and flat whites 😊