I have been honest with my advice, guidance and support with both clients and candidates, which is seldom the easiest route to take; and I believe this has been one of the keys to my success. This has been the case especially when someone’s experience was too narrow, or when someone was feeling they should be ‘doing something else’. My advice is and always has been “do what you love and do what gives you breadth and depth to your experience…”
Some of you may have noticed that ‘The Red Shoes & @bloodyrecruiter’ has been a little quiet of late… some may say more like the scarlet pimpernel. The truth is that I have been following my own advice and now the time is right to share my news.
Actually, going back a step, first I had to find love! I love writing. I wrote my first blog in September 2011 and I was terrified about whether people would get my style of writing and my tone, and wow people did like it and continue to have opinions on my articles. My blogs have allowed me to discover a creative side I never knew I had; sharing my knowledge and experience with the outside world is a liberating experience and one I would urge others to pursue. Now it should be acknowledged that I have not blogged under Birchwood for a while, the reason for this is because I am in the process of writing a series of books on my area of expertise…recruitment, and I am loving it. I am working closely with my publisher and we hope to have the first release before Christmas (oh the perfect Crimbo gift, you all have enough toys!).
I am also writing another book which is much more autobiographical and looks at a time of my life that very few of you may be aware of and one that has had a dramatic effect on my life. My book is about my 7 year experience of living with Endometriosis. I am writing this book to highlight the emotional and physical realities of this invisible illness. There is so little known about this debilitating condition (there is talk of it becoming an official disability) and I am excited to have the opportunity to see my book both raising awareness and funds for much-needed research! If you knew me at that time and want to remind me of something I would be grateful. It is amazing how much the brain can block things out – now does it makes sense why I missed all the Toy Fairs for about 5 years? Alternatively, if you did not know I had been ill and would like to comment about how it effected the outer me at the time I would love to hear from you.
I started in recruitment in 1998. That’s 15 years and that is a long time ago. So let’s get some perspective on this, as 1998 actually feels like it was only about 5 minutes ago. In 1998 Bill Clinton “Did not have sexual relations with that woman”, the first iMac was released, Frank Sinatra died, the first portable MP3 Player was released, Tony Blair had been Prime Minister for a year and Google was founded. Popular musical artists of the day included: Oasis, The Spice Girls, Boyzone, B*Witched, and who could forget Chef and is Chocolate Salty Balls. Film releases in 1998 included: Lock, Stock and two Smoking Barrels, Saving Private Ryan, Meet Joe Black, A Bugs Life, Antz, Ronin, and loads of others! WOW; Look at what you guys were all selling! http://www.toyretailersassociation.co.uk/toys-christmas/top-ten-xmas-1998 the top toy of 1998 whether you love or loath it was the Furby from Tiger Electronics!!!!
Ok, Now I have set the scene of the year I joined Cavendish Maine. I have made us all feel a little nostalgic OR a little older and now I am whizzing to the end of my time there in 2008. Essentially the last paragraph was a lot of fun to research! When I reflected on my at my time at Cavendish Maine I realised I learnt a plethora of lessons, none more importantly than what I learned about myself. When I left Cavendish Maine, I was commercially naive and I needed to grow personally as I grew my business. I had the freedom use the recruitment methods that I knew worked. I embraced the opportunity to do things how I wanted and it worked really well. However, five years into my business with all recruitment and nothing else made my skill set somewhat narrow. So when an opportunity arose to do something alongside my recruitment work I took it. needed to open my mind and my environment to the wider commercial world and it has been very effective. In the past four years I have been involved in the third sector supporting and developing a fledgling charity and more recently co-founding a non-profit organisation that specialises in helping people get back on their feet. In addition to this, having been a Sales Professional for the whole of my career I was increasingly frustrated with the lack of quality Sales Training & Mentoring companies in the market place and that was the birth of Sales Academy 2012… this is not an advert or a sales pitch, if you want to know more about what we do and how we do it then please give me a call and check out the website www.salesacademy2012.co.uk The realisation that there is a massive world going on outside of the toy trade and outside of recruitment has been truly eye-opening. I am doing things I never thought I would, coaching business owners, facilitating rooms of business owners, public speaking and developing a framework for businesses that really works in their development.
I am and will always be forever grateful for the support of the Toy Trade and the many brilliant people who have supported me over the last 15 years. While I continue my exploration and development in the world of writing and coaching others to succeed, I will continue to support the industry. However, my interests now sit with working on the whole of my clients businesses on an on-going basis, recruitment plays a part in this.
So ‘Friends’ as Ross famously said “we are on a break”. I will be available for advice, catch ups and gossip. And I will be at Toy Fair in January, I would miss you all too much otherwise.