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5 Reasons To Apply To A Job Via A Recruitment Agency

Posted on: 19 Mar 2018 by Pat Keogh

As a recruitment leader, I'm always asked what values a recruitment agency can add to the hiring process, compared to applying to a role directly with an organisation. The teams here at Pro pride themselves on covering any gray areas between clients and candidates so that they can best match the best candidates with the best organisations, making the whole recruitment process a lot more efficient. Here are my five key benefits of applying via a recruitment agency.


STAR - Our Guide to Answering Competency Questions

Posted on: 21 Mar 2018 by Alison Keogh

When it comes to interviewing there seems to be so many guides around that offer you the basic tips for answering questions that you will always get asked; Why are you looking to leave? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Why do you want to work for us? What do you know about the role? If you don’t know all these things about you and the role you are interviewing for, question why you are going to this interview in the first place? Yes, you must prepare your answers to these questions, but the tricky ones are where you need help, not in terms of content but in terms of how to structure your answer and why people ask these questions. They are trained to ask these questions and they are trained to pick up positive and negative indicators. Firstly, what is a “Competency-Based” question… Competency-based questions are interview questions that require candidates to provide real-life examples as the basis of their answers. Candidates should explain why they made certain decisions, how they implemented these decisions and why certain outcomes took place. __________________________________________________________________________________ Let us at Pro introduce you to STAR. This is an acronym that we recommend you use to structure your answers, see below; S – Situation When describing a real-life situation, you must be very specific. Use client types (names where possible), names of people, and discuss with the interviewer as if you were about to tell a short story. N.B. Interviewers will use this information later to refer to names and specifics that you have mentioned. They are trained to ensure that this is a real-life story and not made up. If you don’t give specifics they may even prompt with questions, such as “your manager's name was?”, “how big was that client?” and "how many people were working on this project with you?”. T – Target This is all about describing what your outcome/aim was. As you are about to start discussing your actions, so you need to ensure that whatever your aim is, your action to follow makes a lot of logical sense. A – Action This is the part of the answer where you describe what you did to solve the problem and reach your “Target”. A common mistake that people make in this part of the answer is to describe “what we did” and “how we resolved the problem was”. A huge tip - use the phrase “what I did was”, “how I resolved this issue was”. N.B The interviewer here is trained to know what you did, not what the wider team did. Quite often, as recruiters, one of the most common reasons why people don’t get past interviews like this is because it wasn’t clear which part of the problem they were involved in resolving. An interviewer sometimes won’t give you the luxury of asking what you did, as they will expect you to demonstrate this in your answer. R – Result This is where the interviewer is looking for the outcome of your problem. Many people stop after they have described their “Action”, as they believe this is all that they want to hear. Not at all, they want to know if the client was happy, was your boss pleased, what did you learn, could you have done anything differently, what would you do differently looking back on this or what were you proud of achieving? ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­________________________________________________________________________________ The above is a solid structure of how to answer a competency-based interview question.


9 Rules For Dressing For an Interview

Posted on: 22 Mar 2018 by Alison Keogh

Before you have even shaken the interviewer’s hand or been shown to the room where the interview will take place, you have already made your first impression based on how you have dressed. At Pro, with the years’ of experience that we have, we've put together some guidelines based on what our clients say and what works with other candidates. Every company will have a dress code and how you dress for the job may well be a little different to how you dress for the interview. 1. Dress Professionally In almost every case this will mean wearing a suit or professional dress for women with a jacket if preferable. It is rarely appropriate to dress down for an interview. 2. Your Suit This should be comfortable, recently dry cleaned and fit well so that you look at your best. Wear a favourite suit or one that reflects your personality, in recent times it is far more acceptable to show your personality off in the workplace 3. Ties Gentleman recent smart casual attire has thrown the traditional tie out of the window, in all first interview scenarios err on the side of caution and wear a non-flashy tie with a pale shirt, leave the stripy/spotty loud numbers for another day. 4. Polish Your Shoes And for women, extremely high heels and overly fashionable shoes won’t look very professional in a meeting. 5. Facial Hair Gentlemen, all facial hair is to be neatly trimmed (and without food!!) 6. Always be Clean and Presentable Remember that interviews can be stressful and pressurized, extra deodorant should be considered, especially if you must rush between multiple interviews on one day, keep thinking “I want to be at my best”. 7. Brush your Teeth! Have chewing gum to hand on the day to freshen your mouth, you will be doing lots of talking, so plenty of water and dispose of chewing gum prior to the interview. 8. Brush your Hair Noone likes bed head - remember, smart and presentable is the key! 9. Don't Discomfort the Interviewer Yes – it all does sound obvious, but no-one wants to be the candidate that hadn’t thought to accommodate the others in the interview by not appearing fresh in every way. If you want this job, you must be prepared and you must ensure that your first impression really does count.


Do you have any questions?

Posted on: 22 Mar 2018 by Alison Keogh

That moment at the end of an interview when they ask…So do you have any questions? To this question there are three possible outcomes; 1. You are prepared. You have all of the questions in your head, you may even have them written down. If this is you then well done! Have a quick glance through and see if there is anything else you can pick up from our guide. 2. A brief moment of panic. You have thought about this but they have answered everything you had in mind. Read on, there will be something here that they have not covered. But also, never end an interview without asking a question, it will make you look uninterested and like you have not prepared or thought about this interview. 3. Sheer panic. You hadn’t realised you were going to be asked this and you are totally unprepared. You start asking questions around working hours and holidays (these are things that you recruiter can talk to you about and not for interview) and you may even ask a question when they have already covered during the interview, ultimately showing the interviewer you have not listened. In any event, we have devised a number of useful and thought-provoking questions to show that you have prepared. It's ok to write these down and take them to the interview and it's ok if they have answered some of them, skip past it. Whatever you do, don’t go in unprepared, as last impressions count too. Here are just a few; (please note; not all will be relevant, make sure you pick and choose your moments) 1. I see from your profile on LinkedIn/Website that you used to work at XXX, how does that compare to here? 2. What was the biggest draw for you to come here? 3. What is the best thing about working for XXX? 4. How would the team describe the culture here? 5. Where do you see the team going in the next 3 years/ what is your business plan? 6. Do you see this role progressing? 7. Who was the last person you recruited into the team and how are they getting on? 8. I know your competitors are X and Y, how do you compare to them, what is your differentiator? 9. I saw an article that you wrote on X – did you get much feedback on that? 10. I saw on the news that this company did Y – has that impacted things at all? 11. Lastly, is there anything today that you feel we didn’t cover enough and if so, would you like me to clarify anything? Ending the meeting… No, sorry, we are not done yet. At all times remember to be positive, upbeat and have a good energy about you. People want to work with those that they genuinely like. Tell them how much you have enjoyed the meeting and (if true) how keen you are on the role in question. If you know why tell them. We always say, if you like the job ask for it and that is what the above means. It is not literally speaking asking for the job, but it is still showing a keen interest in the position and they know you want to proceed whatever the next step may be. A firm handshake when you say goodbye is always an important way to end.


The 4 Pillars of Workplace Wellbeing - Recording

Posted on: 23 Mar 2018 by Becca Ly

Thanks to everyone who joined us on The 4 Pillars of Workplace Wellbeing Webinar. We received some great questions from you all, we didn't have enough time to respond to all of them, but look out for further articles from Claire Stradling, who will look to share further insight into Wellbeing in the Workplace. Keep the questions coming in, we'd love to hear about which topics you'd like us to explore going forward Share your thoughts >> If you missed it the webinar - you can view it here: If you would like a copy of the slides, they can be viewed HERE


How to negotiate an offer the right way

Posted on: 27 Mar 2018 by Samuel Mould

The recruitment process can at times be long and intensive to reach the stage of receiving an offer of employment. This can, however, be the most critical yet most challenging point of the process. How do you negotiate effectively? How do you ensure that your requests are persuasive and clear without creating a negative view of you as a candidate? Give & Take Remember, you are offering the prospective employer your services just as much as they are offering you an opportunity. This is a two-way street. Whatever you are looking for, reinforce what you are offering them in return. Whether it is a niche skillset or strong commercial value, there is a reason you have been offered to join! Tell them why you deserve more by reminding them of the benefits you bring to the firm. Know Your Worth It is important to be aware of what you are worth in the market. From market rate to current earnings you must be aware of this. Not only does this demonstrate your adept market knowledge but it really helps you justify your views. It is, however, critical with this that you ensure you are realistic. This should be based on solid facts as above rather than your personal opinion. Understand their perspective Whilst you may disagree that the offer put to you is of an adequate level, that does not mean that an employer is trying to be difficult. Establish the reasons why you have been offered less than you hoped. Understanding their point of view is just as important as explaining yours and will also help ensure negotiations remain amicable and give you the best chance of bringing them to your way of thinking. Be Honest & Upfront… FROM THE BEGINNING! It is crucial to start the entire process openly and honestly from your application! Generally, it will be at the point of offer where issues will arise. You need to be clear from the beginning what you are looking for, remain consistent and be open about any changes in this throughout the process at the earliest stage. You will NEVER be in a position to negotiate effectively if you do not do this. One thing that can help tie all the above together is consulting with your recruiter. As an independent party in the process, they can provide an objective and a balanced point of view. They can also provide you with market knowledge and an unrivalled level of advice on negotiating, both generally and with the employer in question specifically. As someone who is experienced in negotiation, listen to the advice, take it on board and let us help you succeed in negotiating. If you would like more advice on offer negotiation, you are welcome to contact me directly on 020 7269 6359 or via e-mail on


The secret to Interview Success

Posted on: 13 Apr 2018 by Alison Keogh

Interviews can be intimidating and no matter how much experience you have, unless you fully prepare you’ll run the risk of underselling yourself and missing out on that dream position. It may be cliché but the old adage “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” has never been truer in relation to interviews. We have produced a Secret to Interview Success booklet to assist our candidates with their interview preparation, the printable version can be found here and our online version can be found here. In this guide, you will find all the hints and tips necessary in order to perform to the best of your ability at interview. We hope you find this booklet useful and if your Pro-Recruitment Group Consultant has not booked you in for a full interview briefing, please get in touch with them to arrange this.


The Effects of Social Media on Employability

Posted on: 23 Apr 2018 by

In the world of Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram our online presence is becoming more and more important, crucial some might say, to consider before embarking on a job search. Potential future employers are able to screen people on social media — both job applicants and existing staff. If you take a day off sick it is a possibility that your employer may check your social media posts for the days in question to see if you are in fact ill. They can also be quick to examine an applicant’s profile and postings to check their credentials and how genuine they are in the way they portray themselves. This is a common practice in companies across the world and it may even surprise you to find that it is all totally legal. As a recruiter, I know a few candidates who have missed out on great opportunities because of something they put online. Unfortunately, the information remains forever in the ether and came back to scupper any chance of getting a job that they could have been a really good match for. Common errors that I have come across include silly spelling mistakes on LinkedIn profiles and “Likes” on Facebook condoning a movement which was in conflict with the potential future employer’s main sponsor. In these cases, the candidates had secured interviews with potential future employers or had been to a first interview and were booked in to go back for a second interview, unfortunately, when the businesses looked into the candidates on Facebook and LinkedIn they quickly changed their minds. The legalities over the use of social media by employers to track candidates and clients is a hotly debated topic. However, it is fair to assume that people will review your online presence, so there are a few things it would be worth bearing in mind before sending your CV to a recruiter or potential future employer; - Make sure any online bios and your LinkedIn profile match in terms of dates and the content is written to the same standard that you would expect your CV to be written. - Always be mindful of what you're about to post. Take a step back and think long and hard before posting that picture whilst on a night out on the town. It may be funny at the time but it may not be so funny when sat in an interview. - Increase the security settings on all of your social media and cleanse it of anything you wouldn’t want your current boss to see – as it is fair to say your new employers wouldn’t want to see it either. Find out more about how Sarah Baker can help with your recruitment needs by contacting her on +44 (0)20 7269 6317


Job interview Disaster Stories

Posted on: 23 Apr 2018 by Jennifer Nelson

You’ve secured the interview, researched the company and dusted off your slickest suit ready to impress, but have you planned your journey? With readily available apps and technology tools at our fingertips, we no longer need to go through the hassle of google mapping, printing a map or even doing a trial run prior to the big interview date. With that said so many of us are still failing to prepare! These are some of the most disastrous journeys to interviews our team have encountered: Fore! Back in the day when I was but a wide-eyed graduate eager to step into the 9-5 working world, I registered with a local agency who secured me my first ever interview for a notable financial services organisation in their Hampshire office. Leaving the house that morning in the slickest suit I could afford, a Filofax (I know right?!) and importantly the map the agency had supplied (this was way before smartphones!) I set out determined to impress with a spring in my step. 45 minutes into my journey I learnt I had made a grave mistake as the map had lead me through a wood complete with a bog-like marsh, finally leading me onto a golf course! I finally got to the interview 20 minutes late caked in mud with foliage in my hair. I didn’t get the job…. You Spin Me Round-Round My colleague once worked with a candidate who’d had a bad run of luck with interviews, however when an opportunity arose with a Top Accountancy Firm in their Leeds office he jumped at the chance and secured an interview instantly. Determined to put his best foot forward the candidate researched the firm and set out that morning confident his luck was set to change. However, he hadn’t quite anticipated the complexities of driving through a city centre and managed to drive around the roundabout nearest to the office 8 times before admitting defeat calling my colleague and sighing ‘I can see the office, but I just can’t get to it….’ Call the Doctor!! A candidate I represented recently secured an early morning interview with a boutique firm and keen to be on tip-top form ate his breakfast on the train journey there. Arriving on the dot he went straight through to meet the MD mentally rehearsing some of his most impressive prepared lines. Walking into the boardroom he went straight in to shake the MD’s hand only be met by a completely aghast bewildered expression on the MD’s face. After an awkward introduction, the candidate dived straight into the interview finally coming to the end of the hour confidently asking if the MD had any questions. ‘Well yes...’ replied the MD ‘Are you alright? Do you need any medical attention?’ In his haste of wolfing down his breakfast en-route, the candidate had managed to spill most of his red smoothie on his shirt which appeared as a huge spreading blood stain… I’m Just too Tyred Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much you prepare yourself, disaster can creep up at any moment. One candidate who had his sights set on working for a particularly big name in finance and keen to explore options regionally, secured an interview within their Poole office. With the added plus that he could flexibly work from his home in Stratford (East London), it seemed to be the perfect role. The candidate set out early that summer morning with ample time to complete the 150-mile journey; petrol tank full and excited for his interview. Halfway through temperatures had risen to 33 degrees and perspiration was starting to become an issue. All of a sudden, he heard a loud bang to discover his tyre had exploded. An hour later waiting on the hard shoulder for the recovery services he was near to giving up and turning around. However, in the face of adversity, his tenacity and determination to make it to the interview saw him continue his journey, eventually getting there 45 minutes late. Following a very flustered and unsettled interview, it was enough to put the candidate off the role, and perhaps going to Poole too soon again. It just goes to show fail to prepare and you really can prepare to fail. For more tips on how to put your best foot forward at any level interview please take a look at some of our other articles here. Best of Luck!!


7 Tips for Trainees Approaching Qualification

Posted on: 24 Apr 2018 by Jonathan Smyth

Writing this article in May, September seems like a distant dot on the horizon. In reality, only sixteen weeks remain for the Autumn trainee intake of 2016 before qualification. With all of the pressures facing trainees, the temptation to push the idea of where to start your post-qualified career to the back of your mind is understandable, however experience suggests that the “NQ season” has a habit of sneaking up on us and that addressing your situation early usually leads to better results in September. With that in mind, we at Pro-Legal have produced the following tips for trainees who are about to embark on one of the pivotal periods of their career. 1. Decide what you want to do Are you happiest advising on premium M&A deals? Litigating? Or was Private Client the seat that you enjoyed most? Whatever the answer to this question is, deciding on what you want your post-qualified specialism to be informs every other aspect of the process. Some trainees have a clear idea of what they want to specialise in on qualification, others are less sure, but prioritising the area(s) that you are keen to move into is key to creating a plan of action for both internal and external NQ opportunities that arise. If you are unsure about your external marketability in certain areas, meeting with a recruiter to obtain an overview of the market is always a useful first step. Similarly, discussing the current trends in your chosen disciplines can also help inform you as to what the likelihood is that there will be opportunities in this area in the run-up to September. If you feel that these conversations lead to you thinking more about external opportunities than internal roles, it may be time to commit to leaving. Be honest with your recruiter and yourself about this - are you genuinely keen to move into a fresh situation post-qualification? Or are you testing the waters out of curiosity? Once that question has been answered, deciding on which recruiter(s) to work with is the next logical step. 2. Work with a recruiter you feel you can trust The London market is teeming with legal recruiters, so picking the right one or two to work with can be a tricky decision. Choosing a recruiter who you feel understands your needs is crucial. You should feel able to trust your recruiter to be honest with you and also with their clients when it comes to discussing your experience and requirements. Check out our article on the best way to choose a legal recruiter to help you decide on the one that is right for you. 3. Create a CV Given that almost two years have elapsed since you previously prepared a CV, and considering the amount of experience gained in a relatively short space of time, utilising your recruiter’s knowledge and experience to create an effective NQ CV should be priority number one. Your recruiter will be able to help you avoid the pitfalls associated with this in order to create a clear, concise, and well-presented document that maximises your chances of securing interviews. Make sure that your CV emphasises your experience in the discipline that you are applying for. Include tangible examples of the work done during your seat(s) in this area and include as much detail as possible. The common myth regarding NQ CVs is that they should be no more than two pages, which is outdated and wrong. Your CV should be as long as it needs to be to include all information that is relevant to the role that you are considering. If you are struggling to decide what to put in or leave out, talk to your recruiter and ask their opinion. Remember that your recruiter sees dozens of CVs on a weekly basis, and knows their clients’ requirements, so asking for help in deciding is the logical thing to do in this situation. Remember that once a CV is sent for a role, the implicit understanding is that partners can ask about anything included in the document. Do not oversell and try to impress by putting matters/transactions on the CV if you are not going to be able to discuss these confidently at interview. Similarly, be aware that if you and one of your interviewers share a similar interest outside of work, they may ask you about this in order to get a better idea of your personality. You should, therefore, assess all areas of your CV with the same rigorous approach. If you can have a confident conversation about it put it on, if not then leave it off. 4. Decide on a POA and target your approaches accordingly Once the CV is created, discussing the type of firms that would best fit your experience and requirements with your recruiter will help to create a target list of potential employers that are likely to appeal. Your recruiter can make anonymous enquiries at these firms to establish their level of interest in external NQs, tailoring the approach to fit the agreed POA. Being proactive in this sense will afford you the greatest degree of visibility on potential openings at your target list of firms, whilst also keeping your powder dry in the way that firing off a CV in a scattergun approach will not. Always ensure that you give written consent (e-mail is fine) for your recruiter to submit your CV to any potential or active openings and keep a record of the firms that have been approached on your behalf. It is also worth keeping a record of who has submitted the CV to a particular firm if you are working with more than one recruiter. This will avoid any unnecessary duplication, which can lead to issues. 5. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail (at interview) Preparation for an interview is key when applying for an external role. In addition to the overview of the interview format that your recruiter can help you with, the onus is on you to ensure that you are as well prepared as possible for each particular meeting that is arranged. We've devised a useful guide to preparing yourself as effectively as possible in order to succeed at interview. 6. Manage your offers sensibly Always keep your recruiter informed of how your other processes (internal or external) are progressing. The more knowledge your recruiter has, the more effectively they can manage yours and the client’s expectations. Timeframes are not set in stone and some processes will advance more quickly than others, but by keeping the lines of communication open throughout the process you will ensure that there should be no unpleasant surprises at any point. Ensure that you are aware of what the likely salary is for each role. NQ salaries are fairly well-publicised at City and International/US firms, so a Google search will provide you with the information you need on this front. It is not uncommon for NQs to hold multiple offers in the run-up to qualification, whether these be a number of external opportunities or a combination of internal and external offers. Managing your offers is a potentially tricky business, as the temptation to allow newly released opportunities to affect existing offers can lead to uncomfortable situations. Avoid complications by assessing each new opportunity that arises in the following way: Is it a firm that was on your initial wishlist? Is this opportunity better than the offers you currently hold? Can you justify affecting your relationships with firms that have already made you an offer in order to enter a new process? If the answer to these questions is yes, then it may be worth making a further application. If not, it is probably better to focus on the bird in the hand. 7. Enjoy your success! You’ve qualified! And in a significant number of cases with an exciting new firm and role to look forward to. Take the time to enjoy that before moving on to the next chapter of your career, and do keep in touch with your recruiter from time to time, as we are always happy to lend a hand with advice on the market and any other queries you may have. Find out more about how Jonathan Smyth can help with your recruitment needs by contacting him on +44 (0)20 7123 5057



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Charity Times - Tuesday, 19th June 2018

REGULATION Government criticised over rule-change delay for charities A number of accountancy bodies have written to Matt Hancock to express their concern about a delay in updating charity accounting rules in England and Wales, which is causing “unnecessary confusion and regulatory complication”. The ICAS, ACCA, CIPFA and ICAEW are calling for the reform of charity accounting rules in England and Wales to now be made as a matter of urgency and have written to the secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to express concern about the UK government’s continued delay in updating the charity accounting regulations applicable in England and Wales. They are concerned that the 2008 Accounting Regulations have not been updated to refer to the Charities SORP (FRS 102), meaning that some charities are required by law to comply with the out of date SORP 2005. They say that the SORP 2005 is based on accounting standards which have now been withdrawn by the Financial Reporting Council, so the charities affected are now in the extraordinary position of being required by regulation to comply with outdated accounting rules. According to the Charity Commission, in its 2016 publication Charity reporting and accounting: the essentials, not for profit organisations can overcome the issue by using the principle of a ‘true and fair override’. Accountancy Daily Regulator freezes accounts of Jewish poverty charity The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into a Jewish Orthodox charity and frozen its bank accounts amid concerns about potential conflicts of interest. Combined Funds Limited, which was set up to advance Orthodox Judaism and relieve poverty, was the subject of a compliance case last year in response to concerns that it had been operating for a long time without registration. Regulatory concerns over governance and administration that arose during the registration process have now led the regulator to make an order under Section 76 of the Charities Act to the charity’s bank, restricting any application of the charity’s funds without the prior written approval of the Commission. The charity’s registration application is currently on hold pending the outcome of the inquiry. Separately, the Charity Commission is investigating Asthan Babe Ke Trust, whose objects include advancing the Sikh religion and the relief of poverty, about “serious regulatory concerns that the charity has not been properly managed by its trustees, as a result of an internal dispute”. Civil Society Third Sector Charities want regulator to help solve sleep-in care crisis A group of 34 charities and other organisations want the regulator to lobby government on the sleep-in back pay crisis facing social care charities that some say could cost the care sector £400m. Organisations including the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Learning Disability Voices, a coalition comprised of over a fifth of the providers of UK care services to people with learning disabilities, and VODG, which supports more than 1 million disabled people in the UK, have written to Charity Commission chair Baroness Stowell urging her to take action on the crisis. “Since the government has the statutory duty to fund care services for the most vulnerable through the Care Act, and given that they have never funded sleep-in shifts at the National Minimum Wage rate, if they do not act now it will be charities who are left to pick up the government ’s tab . . . Smaller charities will likely be forced to close their doors permanently – effectively abandoning vulnerable people. This is a matter of public interest," write the signatories. Charity Today Civil Society Third Sector LEGAL Animal charity in row with whistleblower The League Against Cruel Sports is locked in a legal dispute with a former employee who claims he was dismissed for revealing that its pension fund invested in companies that have been involved in animal testing. Jordi Casamitjana, who left the charity in April this year, is crowdfunding to raise money for legal representation. He hopes the case can be used to add ethical veganism to the beliefs protected under the UK Equality Act. In a statement posted on the League Against Cruel Sports website, interim chief executive Andrew Knott denied Mr Casamitjana was dismissed for whistleblowing about the pension fund. "The reason for his dismissal is different from that which he states but clearly this is confidential information which we are respecting,” Knott wrote in the statement. The Observer Third Force News TECHNOLOGY Charities will be profoundly affected by A.I. A new research paper from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) examines how artificial intelligence (A.I.) will have wide-ranging and “profound” implications for civil society. Rhodri Davies, head of policy and programme leader for the Giving Thought thinktank at CAF, says the technology will offer “new ways of achieving mission,” change civil society organisations' governance and internal processes, and present new challenges for society including malicious fake news and algorithmic bias which perpetuates discrimination. Mr Davies says the challenges posed by A.I., as outlined in Machine-Made Goods: Charities, Philanthropy and Artificial Intelligence, may mean a need for additional support from funders and infrastructure bodies, as well as from government and the technology industry. Civil Society Charity Digital News FUNDRAISING Charity's simple methods achieve a great deal Meryl Davies, the chief executive of Contact the Elderly, speaks with Charity Times about how the organisation achieves much using simple methods. The charity helps isolated older people meet each other regularly and make new friends through a network of around 11,000 volunteers who host monthly tea parties for older people on Sundays. “The organisation has continued to diversify its funding sources, without over-diversifying,” notes Davies, adding “As a small organisation you have to be fairly focused. You can’t have all the fundraising streams going when you’ve only got a small fundraising staff." Charity Times EVENTS The importance of Small Charity Week Pauline Broomhead, the co-founder of the FSI, a charity she set up with Emma Harrison focused on providing small charities with the best learning opportunities to secure a sustainable future, writes for Civil Society about events taking place during Small Charity Week 2018 (June 18th - June 23rd) and why it is important to celebrate smaller charities and community groups. She writes: “It’s vitally important after eight years of cuts when councils are increasingly prioritising their diminishing resources on statutory services that the most vulnerable have access to a broader range of support . . . For the most part, it’s small and local services run by small and local charities and community groups that provide this vital link in the chain for those in need." Civil Society CAMPAIGNS Schools providing pupils with toothpaste and soap A survey carried out by In Kind Direct shows that one in three teachers are providing pupils with products such as toothpaste and soap, while 80% of primary school teachers have seen a rise in the number of children arriving at school unwashed or not looking presentable in the last five years. Across the UK, 18% say they intervene on a weekly basis – with the rate as high as 50% in London. Nicola Finney, headteacher at St Paul’s Primary School in Stoke on Trent, says buying basic hygiene products for pupils is becoming part of year on year budgets, adding: “Staff are even buying extra bits to distribute it to families when they go shopping.” Daily Mirror The Independent Recycling can be rewarding New “recycling reward” machines are due to be installed at Maidstone services in Kent this week which will issue 5p vouchers for empty plastic bottles and coffee cups. The trial is being run by environmental charity Hubbub and is backed by 13 Kent local authorities, Highways England, Shell, Costa Express and Roadchef. The machines will be introduced at dozens of other service stations if they prove effective in reducing the amount of litter in the area. Daily Mail John Lewis trialling buy-back clothes scheme John Lewis is trialling a buy-back service for customers’ unwanted clothes to help reduce the 300,000 tonnes sent to UK landfill each year. More than 100 customers are testing the scheme that allows them to sell clothing back to the department store, regardless of its condition. Martyn White, sustainability manager at John Lewis, said: “We already take back used sofas, beds and large electrical items such as washing machines and either donate them to charity or reuse and recycle parts and want to offer a service for fashion products.” The Daily Telegraph The Guardian The Times Daily Mail More litigants in need of a lawyer Staff at the Personal Support Unit charity, which advocates on behalf of people embroiled in civil court proceedings who cannot afford lawyers, say the numbers they see needing help are multiplying. The charity says more than 240,000 "litigants in person" have been aided in the past five years. Yorkshire Post INTERNATIONAL End of the road for Granny’s Finest Netherlands-based non-profit Granny’s Finest is to shut down production after seven years of selling hand knits to the Dutch consumer, according to reports. In a letter to knitters, the company said that it had been advised to file for bankruptcy. Granny’s Finest was established in 2011 with 20 knitters – the idea was to give people living in pensioners homes something to do with their days and to counteract loneliness. Dutch News OTHER Northern Ireland primary wins award A rural primary school in Northern Ireland has been named as the NSPCC’s school of the year at an awards ceremony in London. St Columb’s Cullion school in Desertmartin was nominated for the title by NSPCC Schools Service Advisor Lisa Norris for their work with the charity. Belfast Live


Physical Wellbeing

My previous guest blog for Pro-Recruitment focused on mental well-being. There is a lot of focus on this area and rightly so. The physical side is just as important, but messages about that get lost in a sea of: “exercise more”, “eat less”, “walk 10,000 steps a day”. There is a lot more to physical wellbeing. Last month I ran a workshop at Work Life, a co-working space for entrepreneurs in Farringdon, on the links between mental and physical wellbeing. Just some of the areas we covered were sleep, blue-zone diets and finding meaning in a crazy world. So a little more about all those: Sleep Most of us don’t get enough sleep, when life gets busy we carve time out of our sleeping hours and force ourselves to stay awake longer than is good for us. And there are those who get very little sleep and wear it as a badge of honour. The problem with not getting enough sleep is that it impacts our mood and performance – all kinds of performance, not just at work. It’s hard to focus on learning goals or fitness goals if you’re exhausted. And it even impacts our relationships – it’s hard to get along with people if you’re under-slept. So how can you check if you’re over-tired? Answer these questions and score yourself 0 – if your answer is rarely/never 1 – if your answer is sometimes 2 – if your answer is most of the time/always Do you wake up feeling refreshed? Do you wake up at the same time every day without an alarm? Do you fall asleep within 30 minutes every night? If you get 6 out of 6 then you’re doing great! If you’ve got less than 6 then all that means is there are changes you can make. And those changes might make a significant difference to how you feel during the day. - Go to sleep in total darkness - Get morning light before you settle down to work - Set a bedtime routine to relax you before bed - Reduce emotional tension before bed – from the programmes you watch to the conversations you have - No caffeine after lunch - Stop monitoring your sleep with apps and smartwatch – there are increasing numbers of people driving themselves to anxiety by monitoring their sleep using devices that aren’t medical-grade. Trust your own sense of self and levels of tiredness rather than relying on apps. Blue-Zone Diets There is so much conflicting information about diets. What works. What doesn’t? The reality is all our bodies are different and will respond in different ways. There are 6 areas on the planet where the proportion of people who live past 100 years old is 10x higher than the average. And in good health too, with lower levels of degenerative disease. None of them are following a fad, all the areas exhibit different diets. Some eat more fish than others. Some eat more carbs than others. These are the blue-zone diets. But there are some broad principles which are consistent between them all. - Eat with family or friends where possible - Less consumption of meat - Less smoking - Eating a high proportion of legumes - Constant and moderate physical activity - Social engagement What can you do try to improve the quality of the food your eat and how your body processes it? - Denormalise sugar & change your taste-buds – sugar is addictive - Eat 5 portions of vegetables, restrict fruit and fruit juice (think of all the sugar!) - Micro-fasts to make your body work harder at using fat stores and to give your engine a rest from always having to digest food. Finding meaning in a crazy world Action For Happiness is a fantastic organisation – its aim is to bring more happiness into everyone’s lives. And to do that sometimes we can make a big difference by taking small steps. Every month they release a calendar with little tips on what you can do that day to carve out a moment or two of joy. Find out what you can do today by checking out their calendar for June! I hope you enjoy trying out some of these changes. Send me a tweet to let me know how you get along! @teamconvergent Heeral Gudka is the founder and director of Convergent Consulting, with expertise in helping leaders create inclusive environments and work in a manner that motivates themselves and those around them. She set up her coaching business after 15 years in the insurance industry, experiencing first-hand the impact that intelligent and genuine leadership has on people, and also the impact of poor leadership on productivity and morale. Heeral has worked with SAGA, Tandem, Argenta, Conyers, Dill & Pearman; Freisenbruch-Meyer, AON Bermuda, The Bermuda High School and CCS Group.


4 Takeaways From Our What Is The Next Step For Your Finance Career Webinar

I would like to thank everyone who joined us for Pro Finance’s latest webinar about Your Career in Finance, and a special thanks to our panel speakers, Jamie Cassell (Saffery Champness), Grant Lee (PWC) and Darsh Shah (Adler Shine) for participating. I think I can speak for everyone when I say it was an entirely beneficial event, and it was a real pleasure to listen to the advice and experiences of three industry-leading Partners within the world of practice! For those who missed out, not to worry! Below I have summarised the key points from the webinar, covering Specialisms, Firms, Career Advancement and Career Progression.​ 1. SPECIALISMS Darsh Shah (Adler Shine) began his career in Audit, however, benefited from the internal secondment opportunities within Corporate Finance and Not for Profit. Now he is able to keep his fingers in all the pies, so to speak, assisting Adler Shine’s Corporate Finance team as well as acting as Audit RI! Grant Lee (PWC) also highlighted the difficulty in making Director or Partner without having done a secondment into another line of service or territory. Saffery Champness offer their staff broad client exposure, and Jamie Cassell encourages his staff to focus on a couple of sectors they have a strong presence in, as they move up the promotional ladder. The verdict: Grab those opportunities to gain exposure to different service lines and specialisms, early on! Afterall, another string to your bow can only further your career later on in your finance career. 2. FIRMS All three of our guest panelists came from such different backgrounds and trained and worked in firms of varying size - each of them having their own individual merits. The Big 4 not only offers global reach but can provide alternate career paths internally. A Top 20 firm such as Saffery Champness offers a gratifying and varied workload with a broad range of sectors and client contact early on in one’s career. Finally, a “big little award-winning firm” such as Adler Shine allows you to have direct say on strategy and growth due to the close Partner group. The verdict: Decide on where you gain most job satisfaction. Is it in the variety of the work? Is it the potential to move service lines or for international travel? Or do you want to directly contribute to a firm’s strategy? 3. CAREER ADVANCEMENT It was great to hear how seriously firms are taking career development, offering counselling managers, yearly appraisals, a dedicated Learning & Development department for high-quality training and CPD support, as well as the very important; salary reviews! The verdict: Make the most of your firm’s excellent training and development facilities. Accountancy practices are eager to develop their staff and help them reach their full potential quickly – so make sure you have clear objectives laid out in your appraisals and a strategy of how you are going to reach these goals! 4. CAREER PROGRESSION In order to progress and be a success, love what you do! If partnership is your long-term goal, ensure you engage in Business Development early on to get a true taster. Motivation is the key factor and having a passion for what you do – by going the extra mile people will notice you and in turn truly support your career ambitions and help you to reach them in a desirable time frame. The verdict: Differentiate yourself from your peers with your diverse experience through secondments, and never be overlooked for a promotion again! A career in finance offers an abundance of different paths you can follow, from sector specialisms to crossing service lines. Each firm has its own merits, whether it is a Big 4 or a smaller, strong independent and just remember in order to succeed it’s important to love what you do. Take advantage of professional development your firm can offer you, and if you think you’re not getting enough out of your current role - make that change today.


Charity Times - Tuesday, 12th June 2018

FUNDRAISING New rules for online platforms New rules and guidance for online fundraising platforms published by The Fundraising Regulator require them to be more transparent. The new standards affecting platforms such as JustGiving mean that online fundraising platforms will have to meet the same levels of transparency as other organisations associated with giving. Stephen Dunmore, the regulator's chief executive, said: “There was a very generous public response to the high-profile incidents in London and Manchester in 2017 but in some cases, questions were raised about how the money raised through crowdfunding pages would reach the people that donors wanted to help where they had not named a charityto receive the donations. We have worked collaboratively with the online platforms to update our code and develop guidance to ensure fundraising through these channels is transparent and lawful." Necessary changes must be made by the end of August. Civil Society Charities will need help with transition to lower cash society The Charity Finance Group and the Institute of Fundraising are calling on the government to work with the sector and ensure charities are supported with the transition to a society in which people use less cash. Both bodies have submitted written responses to HM Treasury’s consultation on digital payment technologies, which closed last week. The Charity Finance Group noted the potential impact on small charities in its submission. “According to the Charities Aid Foundation, 'loose change' donations are worth around £320m a year. 1p and 2p coins and therefore worth millions of pounds to the charity sector, and many small charities will be dependent on the giving generated through this loose change,” it said. Civil Society REGULATION Look to the cloud for compliance help A new cloud-based platform seeks to support charities with governance and compliance by providing the means for assessment and management of performance and identifying where improvements are required. The Charity Excellence Framework platform creates a unique model for each charity, based on size, location, role and activities. There are eight diagnostic questionnaires and reporting via a dashboard tracking more than 20 key metrics. Reports are optimised for specific priorities. Founder Ian McLintock said the platform is "easy to use, low workload and low cost" and "Revenue from it will fund even more ambitious plans.” UKFundraising Regulator probes possible losses at charity The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries International amid concerns about potential losses, after the charity, whose objectives include the propagation of Christianity through channels including seminars and conventions, repeatedly failed to file financial information on time and two sets of accounts were qualified by its auditors. Accountancy Daily LEGAL Bible Society fined over data breach The Bible Society has been fined £100,000 over computer security failings that allowed hackers to access the personal details of more than 400,000 supporters. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said the details of supporters - including addresses, phone numbers and bank details - were compromised by attackers who guessed the “weak password” of one of the charity’s databases. Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO, said: "The Bible Society failed to protect a significant amount of personal data, and exposed its supporters to possible financial or identity fraud . . . Our investigation determined that it is likely that the religious belief of the 417,000 supporters could be inferred, and the distress this kind of breach can cause cannot be underestimated.” The Swindon-based charity says no supporter donations will be used to pay the fine and it will use funds generated in other ways, includi ng sales and investments, to pay the penalty. A Bible Society spokesperson said: “We remain vigilant regarding cyber security threats and have taken all possible steps to ensure that the risk of a future breach is minimised.” Financial Times The Daily Telegraph IT Pro Portal Third Force News Third Sector Civil Society Hospice's reputation damaged by fraudster The impact of fraud by a hospice chief executive has been detailed by the charity's chair of trustees. Graham Leggatt-Chidgey, the former chief executive of Butterwick Hospice in Stockton-on-Tees admitted spending more than £90,000 of the charity's money on designer goods. Judith Hunter said the hospice has seen a reduction in fundraising and donations of £100,000 since Leggatt-Chidgey's arrest. She did however say: "On a positive note . . . following the court appearance last month, the community sense of outrage is now turning into support for the hospice." Leggatt-Chidgey, described in court as a "skilled fraudster," was jailed for four years. Northern Echo BBC News CAMPAIGNS Charity wants better illegal eviction training for police Safer Renting , an advice service for tenants backed by four London boroughs, has called on the Metropolitan Police to improve training for its officers to ensure they are aware it is a criminal offence to landlords to evict a tenant without a possession order. It follows an incident in which a landlord in Chingford was not arrested after allegedly forcing his way into a family’s home with a crowbar and used violence to drag them down the stairs. The Met said: “Should an offence be alleged under the Protection from Eviction Act the role of the officer attending is to compile a report for the local authority.” The Observer Homelessness ‘could end in a decade’ Crisis has published a report claiming that a £10bn plan could end homelessness in Britain within a decade. The proposals involve the construction of at least 100,000 social homes each year for 15 years. Other measures include forcing prisons and hospitals by law to prevent people in their care from becoming homeless when they leave. The plan, called ‘Everybody In: How to End Homelessness in Great Britain,’ is endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Dame Louise Casey, the former national homelessness tsar. The Independent Schools are failing black pupils, says charity boss Dr Tony Sewell, chief executive of Generating Genius, a charity which supports talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to realise their potential in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), considers universities minister Sam Gyimah’s comments about the failure of Oxford and Cambridge to take in more black students or those from less privileged backgrounds. He says that issues arise far earlier in such students’ academic lives and notes government data that reveal large numbers of black students who do well at primary school “not only fail to progress but end up going backwards” at secondary school. He says the issue should serve as “a clarion call” to secondary schools which are leaving black and disadvantaged students “ill-prepared.” The Daily Telegraph Council converts phone box into nightclub for charity Kingsbridge Town Council has turned its traditional red phone box into a tiny nightclub where one clubber at a time can pay £1 to use a dial-a-disc type record system - with all proceeds donated to local charity @115, a provider of diverse activities for adults with disabilities. BBC News OTHER Charity leaders honoured Charity chief executives, founders and chairs honoured in the Queen’s birthday list include British Asian Trust chair Manoj Badale and Sickle Cell Society chief executive John James (both OBEs); She Speaks, We Hear founder Akeela Ahmed,Playskill founder Andrea Clarke, Ipswich Housing Action Group chief executive Halford Hewitt, Refugee Action founder Colin Hodgetts, and Oldham Mountain Rescue leader Mick Nield (all MBEs). Rosemary Powell, aged 103, who has been a poppy seller for the Royal British Legion since 1921, also received an MBE. Civil Society Small Charity Week beckons . . . Small Charity Week kicks off on June 18th with a day devoted to raising the profile of small charities everywhere. The week continues with support and fundraising opportunities, and the FSI Small Charity Big Impact Awards, and wraps up on June 23rd. Small Charity Week


How The World Cup Changed How We Think About Interviews

With the world cup just around the corner, what can we learn from a recruitment perspective from some of the teams taking part? Germany - Efficiency Much to the irk of England fans, the German football team is a gleaming example of ruthless efficiency and careful planning. It is no secret that the Germans play the same formation from children so that by the time they reach the senior's everybody is well drilled in what is expected of them, practice makes perfect after all! It is also no secret that the coaching staff pore over data in the months leading up to big tournaments. Such data analysis helped Jens Lehmann save two penalties against Argentina in 2006 sending them through to the next stage. So how can you harness the efficiency of Germany? Practice your interview technique rigorously until you know it inside out and do your research. Investigate the company you're interviewing with. Memorise the key people within the company, their movements within the market and any other noteworthy things they've done recently. Practice like Germany and you’ll succeed like Germany. England - Optimism Despite England’s chronic underachievement on the global footballing stage, you’ll always hear “We’ll win it this year”. Often derided as complete delusion the sheer optimism of England is one to be lauded. Ok so we haven’t won a major tournament since ‘66 and the thought of a penalty shootout sends shivers down the spine of the entire nation but this really could be our year, couldn’t it? So how can you harness the optimism of England? The power of positive thinking! Now, this doesn’t mean suppressing negative thoughts that typically creep up before an interview but rather addressing these fears. In doing this you can dispell the niggling thoughts of inferiority, embarrassment and anxiety by focusing on the positives aspects that disprove these initial nerves. Resulting in double positivity! Now go out there and get that job! Brazil - Passion It’s not a world cup without Brazil now, is it? The infamous yellow and blue kit evoke memories of style, flair and success. The Brazilians absolutely love football there's no doubt about it. Brazil have won five times, and are the only team to have played in every tournament. What’s their secret? Passion. Being passionate about what you do or what you want to do will make your life a whole lot easier. Regardless of what you do putting passion into your work ultimately lays the foundation for success. An enthusiastic approach speaks volumes and demonstrates to people that even when things get tough you are committed to sticking it out and completing the task to the best of your ability. So next time you walk into a job interview show a little passion. Passionate people approach tasks full of enthusiasm and don’t stop until they’re 100% happy with the results. Iceland - Tenacity Aww, the little guys. Good on them, they’re here for a good time not a long time. Should be a pushover right? Well, unfortunately, and much to England’s embarrassment at the last Euros Iceland were anything but a pushover. But how can the smallest ever nation to take part in a world cup manage to take on and defeat some of the world’s biggest footballing nations? Tenacity of course! It’s a dog eat dog world when it comes to finding a new job.UK job seekers have to apply for an average of 27 positions just to get one interview, now that is a lot of rejection! Don’t get disheartened by rejection learn from it and use it to your advantage! Be more like Iceland, don’t pay attention to the statistics and people dismissing you immediately. Know your strength, play to it and don’t give up! Your determination will be recognised and success will ensue. If you can embrace all of these team’s qualities success will follow (hopefully you won’t have to do it all again in four years time though!)


Kim Vs Trump: 5 Steps to Resolving Office Place Conflict

Today marks a significant moment in history, the summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump. The world watches on through its fingers in a kind of confused curiosity as these two leaders meet to try and broker some sort of ‘peace’. There has been much posturing, insult slinging and egotistical tweeting in the build-up to this summit leading many to question its authenticity. However, is there anything we can take away from this unprecedented meeting? I’d like to think so… Ok so the negotiation of peace between two old enemies who both have access to weapons of mass destruction and ultimately the lives of the entire globe in their hands is quite complicated (luckily we’ve got two experts handling that) so let's apply the concept to a workplace. Kim works in accounts payable and Donald is on the admin team. Both harbour ideas of grandeur and self-importance and unfortunately this has led to a workplace personality clash. It’s come to a head and it seems as if no solution is possible without the eradication of the other one from the company. Both finally realise their careers are at stake so agree a meeting before HR get involved. How do they go about ending this bitter feud? Five simple steps will help. 1. Talk to the other person Believe me, it may sound obvious but talking to the other party and hearing their issues first hand is key to finding a resolution. There may be other parties involved trying to push their own agendas and spreading fake news when two factions are at loggerheads. Time to sit down in a neutral environment away from prying eyes and be frank with each other. Be sure to leave egos at the door though! 2. Actively listen There’s no point talking if nobody’s listening! While everyone wants to talk and get their point across it is important that both sides take time to listen. And I mean really listen, not just nod and smile while thinking about what’s for tea. Actively listening involves making mental notes of problem areas. After points have been presented and listened to it may be that there is a simple solution to the initial problem and that both parties are more similar than different. 3. Agree on the problem together Now that all the dirty laundry has been aired it is time to really drill down and identify the underlying issues behind the conflict. It may seem like the problem is over the borrowing of a pen but really it's more to do with respect and communication. It must also be said that there should be absolutely no finger pointing or trying to put more blame on one side than the other. This will result in a spiral of further resentment and disagreement and no solution will be reached. Both parties should reach an agreement on what the problem is together and once they’ve done this… 4. Reach a solution together That's right, finding a solution together! Once the underlying cause of the feud has been realised together it's time to find a solution that makes the both parties happy. This one may require a bit of compromise and it may be hard to swallow pride but look at the bigger picture. Once you understand the other sides gripes and have worked out a solution that works for everyone things should be a lot smoother in the office. 5. Build on that success Finally, build on that success. The hard bit is done and the previously unachievable has been achieved. Now you need to keep building on this newly found peace. It’s going to be a “yuge success!" Sharing success and working together more frequently builds up trust and shows the other person that the past is truly in the past. Embrace the success and reflect on a job well done! Co-workers will now look on with a mixture of admiration, fear and jealousy of your newly formed superpower and both parties can sit back safe in the knowledge that they are “Winning again!”


Tax Managers – When is a good time to move In-House?

The age-old myth would tell us that someone from Practice can move in-house at any point in their career. In fact, this may well have been true a few years back. In 2011, we saw many people Tax Seniors, Tax Assistant Managers, Tax Managers, Tax Senior Managers and Tax Directors move in-house. We even identified some Tax Partners moving in-house. Alas, it's 2018 and the market has changed. No longer can you move in-house at any point in your career. The ripest time to move in-house is either upon qualification or whilst you are still a Manager or (junior) Senior Manager in Practice. As a seasoned Senior Tax Manager in Practice, you can get to crossroads, you are either being pushed to do Business Development (which is not why you got into tax) or you are being targeted within an inch of your life to hit certain targets to get to Director. Some people think this is the prime point to jump in-house. As recruiters, the honest answer is, you are an expensive resource for someone who has no proven in-house exposure, compared to those who have 2-3 years’ experience in-house and are at the same level as you. You may well be put forward for roles and if you know the Head of Tax, you may well get an interview, but when the CFO and CEO sign off business cases and meet you for a final interview, the person with the in-house experience that is in the same or less money than you, ultimately may get the job. Don’t get me wrong we are not saying it is impossible to move if you are at this level, it’s just much more difficult and you may be waiting a while for an interview. As a Director or Partner, it is rare that you will enter an -in-house role (unless you are seconded to the business for being a great asset in everything you have done for them already), the number of roles at this level are slowing down and the competition is rife. Someone who is already a Head of Tax will have the edge over someone who is straight from Practice. There is also a big disconnect between the average Head of Tax remuneration and that of a Big 4 or Top 20 Partner, who are too expensive to make the switch (unless of course, they are willing to take a hefty pay cut). So, in essence, the best time to move in-house, in my opinion, is between 1 – 5 years PQE as this is a prime spot for those of who are still willing to learn, are still keen to soak up information and your salary hasn’t reached a level where you price yourself out of the market compared to those with industry experience who will most likely be on less money that you as a basic salary.


6 Undeniable Signs you should start looking for a new job

Feel like you're stuck at a dead end? Here are six undeniable signs you should start your search for a new job. 1. You are bored There’s nothing worse than feeling bored at work. Time drags, you’re constantly clock watching and find yourself doing literally anything to get through the day. On the whole, people need mental stimulation, a challenge, a goal to work towards. Boredom is such an issue in the workplace and shares many similarities with feeling stressed. Emotionally, people feel trapped and helpless when bored at work because they have fewer ways to occupy themselves as they would in their free time. Interestingly, in 2016 Frédéric Desnard took his employer to a tribunal for giving him so little to do that he became “bored out of his mind”. Your employer owes it to you to have a steady flow of tasks that are suitable to your skillset and title. 2. You are stressed As I mentioned earlier stress shares a lot of similarities with boredom. Whilst the difference is an overload of work rather than a lack of it the effects are the same, helplessness, a feeling of being trapped and ultimately unhappiness. In an evergrowing age of connectivity, people are finding it harder to detach their personal lives with their work lives, which in turn, has led to an increase in stress-related illnesses. In fact in the UK, 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17. If you’re feeling stressed or burnt out it then maybe it’s time to find a new job. One with better work/life balance and wellbeing incentives. 3. You aren't making progress If Jimmy the Tea Boy has progressed to Senior Exec with his own office and company car and you’re slogging away in the same position after the same amount of time then you need to start to look elsewhere. Lack of advancement is one of the leading causes of people searching out new employment. Employees need to keep moving forward and a key indicator of how they are progressing in their job title. If you don’t have set goals to work towards and a clear path to progress then what’s the point? It’s easy to become disenfranchised with your employers and the company if you’re not progressing. Find somebody who’s going to challenge you and reward you fairly for your contribution. 4. You are underappreciated You have a big project, you put your absolute everything into it and get it completed on time. You’re chuffed to nuts with your efforts and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, you are expecting a phone call, email or a face to face well done from your boss. You wait, and wait, and wait a little bit more… Slowly it dawns on you that no recognition is coming and the daily grind continues. Your masterpiece is a mere speck in the distance as another large project comes across your desk. A simple “thank you” or “great job” from higher-ups goes a long way, it costs nothing and takes a couple of minutes. If your boss can’t see your worth and is unwilling to acknowledge your hard work with a simple gesture then maybe it’s time to find a new job. 5. You are underpaid Doing a little bit of research on your worth can pay dividends, literally and figuratively. If you are busting your gut doing a skilled job for very little pay then something has to give. Knowing your self-worth is key here. There are a number of surveys and wage calculators out there that can give you an average banding of what you should be earning or even better speak to a recruitment consultant who will be able to give you an even greater insight into salaries. Time for a frank an honest conversation with your higher-ups on why you should be earning more and what you bring to the company. If your boss is unwilling to meet your valuation or even compromise with little explanation as to why then maybe it’s time to look for a new job. 6. You are reading this article Ok, ok maybe I’m being a little presumptuous. However, if you are reading this because you are unhappy and looking for another job then please do get in contact with us. Our specialist consultants are more than happy to discuss career paths, salaries and current opportunities.



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