My mantra …the 2 Ps

I’ve had an amazing summer with my daughter – the 1st one ever that I haven’t been working.  But now as she settles into her new school and autumn is most definitely upon us I turn my thoughts to work…

It hasn’t exactly been the most productive year for me so over the next few months I’m muttering my daily mantra “PERSEVERANCE & POSITIVITY” as I knuckle down and reconnect with old work colleagues, attend networking events and apply for roles which have my name written all over it – (apparently not judging by the number of rejections I have had this year).  But as the-font-of-all-knowledge (i.e. my hubby) puts it; it’s a numbers game.  When he said this to me the other day it was like a slap round the face as I was licking my wounds about a rejection.  It pulled me up short but he’s true.  There’s work out there just for me but I’ve got to hunt (stalk?!) it down.

However I take heart form the article I read this morning on The Pool about a 48 year old mother being given an internship at The Spectator.  How awesome is that?  What’s even better they did not request a CV, name, age or qualifications but they recruited purely on a set of tasks the applicant had to execute.

So where does that leave me as I turn 48 this week too?  A friend of mine who used to be in recruitment suggested that I should dumb down my CV if I want to go for less senior, more hands-on roles but I’m not sure how I’m meant to pare back over 25 years experience. Or if I really want to…I don’t mind taking a step back but it’s finding the companies who are forward thinking about recruiting the right person with the best cultural fit irrespective of age, sex and background.

It’s going to be a tough gig but I’ll get there by by-passing the traditional recruitment agency route and and approaching growing brands and agencies where I see myself fitting in and who, in return, will hopefully see the benefit of my experience.

Wish me luck!

Perseverance, positivity, perseverance, positivity, perseverance, positivity, mutter, mutter mutter….

P.S If a recruiter thinks they can help me then I’m all ears


Owning a puppy and work – who knew they were so similar?!

Our daughter, Juno, had been pestering us for ages about getting a puppy and we thought it would be a great idea, taking the pressure off her as a only child and give her something to look after.  We all agreed that we would start looking once we were back from our Easter hols.  And within a few weeks the gorgeous Rudi landed on our laps and we were all delighted.  But bearing in mind that this was a joint family decision this is what I’ve learnt – and so much of it applies to work too that it’s uncanny!

  1.  Yes it was a joint decision but guess who has had to take ownership of the “project”?  Me!  No matter if a decision is made by committee somebody has to take control
  2. And of course when the proverbial and actual “sh*t hits the fan, I’m the one picking it up. One day I’ll get Juno to do it but it’s going to take a while…
  3. I had hoped that having a puppy would get us all out for lovely family walks – err no. You can take a horse to water but my horses ain’t drinking.  It’s all about finding a way to encourage people to change their habits and adopt new ideas.  However much I want to shout at them “will you bloody well take the dog for a walk” I need to take a more coercive approach – no doubt involving chocolate and a pint and a packet of crisps or perhaps some subliminal messaging might help!
  4. In terms of my daily work output I seem to lose at least an hour a day to dog walking, playing, feeding but it has made me more efficient.  If I wake early I walk Rudi before breakfast, I group similar tasks together to get through them quicker and I plan and ponder as I walk. And I’m sure once he’s older and trained I’ll be able to make a few calls too
  5. A walk, or an excuse to get up from my desk is definitely good for the soul and the body.  It clears my head, allows me to stretch and move and ruminate
  6. You talk to complete strangers but it’s amazing what you learn – never be afraid to start a conversation and find a common link with that person and you never know where it may lead.
  7. Giving Rudi short bursts of attention for puppy training has meant he’s come on leaps and bounds in a very short space of time.  Apply this to your team at any stage of their development and they will know you are there to support them and give them the confidence to take the initiative and be creative
  8. I’m now part of tribe (for the 1st time EVER) and I fit in as us dog walkers come in all shapes and sizes and judging by Rudi, dogs do look like their owners – small, round with curly hair but very loyal! Embrace being different and be proud of who you are.  We can’t all conform to a certain ideal but learn how to play to your strengths to develop yourself and your role
  9. I talk gobbledygook to my pooch and apparently when I worked in at Seven I had my own vernacular so no change there then
  10. Bumbags are cool, bumbags are cool, bumbags are cool. If I say this often enough they will be.  Thank heavens my friend Torri, a stylist, wears one when she’s on a shoot.  Hers is full of pins, safety pins, cotton, needles and scissors.  Mine is full of poo bags, dog treats, some change, tissues, house keys and my phone.  I know, not much similarity but a start!

And after 5 weeks of owning a puppy I now can’t imagine life without him; he’s well and truely part of the family

Why our confidence falters

As I mentioned in a previous post I was going to join a choir and blow me I’ve gone and done it; Vocality in Surbiton were happy to take me on. Bear in mind I haven’t sung in a choir since school and my hubby laughs every time I mention it (at least I make him laugh!) but I have attended every week since.

But the funny thing is, the 1st couple of weeks I went along and sang with gusto but the more I go the more self-conscious I become and have lost some confidence.  I think I am aware that perhaps I can’t quite hit the notes (no music to read –  it’s all through listening to the choirmaster which I find soooo difficult) and what will the people standing next to me think?  Also I naively presumed I would master singing again quickly but I had forgotten how hard it is to sing alto sandwiched between the sopranos and tenors & don’t get me started on breathing.

I know I shouldn’t really worry as we’re all in it together but I do.  At least I’ve been practising with my daughter (husband puts on headphones at this point) so I am familiar with the words and music.

These feelings brings to mind the constant ebb & flow of emotions we go through at work. For example you’re getting a new project off the ground.  Initially we go “Yep we’ve got this one nailed, I can do this”.  Then we actually start working on whatever it is and our confidence begins to dip as we begin to doubt our abilities and perhaps the project isn’t going quite as smoothly as we would like with a few curve balls thrown in for good measure.  You’re left to make key decisions as your line manager knows you can do the job even though you want their support as you sit at your desk gnawing at your nails.

But you work through it piece by piece until you’re on the upward trajectory and the project comes together.  It’s at this point your confidence has grown again as you say to yourself “Wow I did that” and think back to what you have learnt and the obstacles you have overcome to make the project a success. And then another project/ new job/ issue comes along and the confidence cycle begins again. We need to remember with every confidence dip there’s a rise just around the corner.

All I can hope for is that my confidence is on the up at choir this week.  If not, I’m sure it will be soon and to be honest nothing beats belting out a good tune with a group of like-minded people in a beautiful setting.  But promise me you wont come to the concert at the end of the term!