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Yvette Pearson

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Not all Recruitment Agencies are Equal

As a result of two team assistants resigning in quick succession, I have been thrown into the world of Recruitment Agencies from a company perspective, rather than a candidate one. This is the first time in my career that I have dealt with multiple recruitment agencies at the same time. This is also the first time I’ve had a real appreciation of what they do. During my career, I’ve registered with dozens of different recruitment agencies. Large ones, small ones, independents. They have largely been all the same. I send in my CV, they ask to see me, and then they tell me that they will be in touch if a role comes up. Eventually I get a job, and the chances are that I couldn’t tell you the name of the agency which placed me. Working with recruitment agencies to find a candidate, I feel, is where you find…

Case Study 1 – Office Manager for Boutique Finance House

*All names have been changed The Candidate Michelle* came from a large corporate background. Her experience was mainly in supporting large teams within large financial institutions. She came to First Recruit* looking for something similar. She was at risk of redundancy and wanted to make sure she wasn’t left without a job. She had only been with UK Bank* for 18 months so she knew any redundancy package wasn’t going to be brilliant. She had just moved into her first home on her own and needed some security around her professional life. She was doing some work on her property and didn’t need the stress of not knowing if she was going to have a job every morning when she went into the office. The Company Boux Finance* was a small boutique Asset Manager. They had been set up by Brian* who, after building up a 12-year track record…

10 Ways Your Office is like FRIENDS

When a colleague tries to talk to you before you’ve had your morning coffee: It’s impossible to say “pivot” table without doing Ross’s voice There’s that one good looking guy who has just started When your boss announces to the company something juicy which you have known about forever There’s that one meeting where no-one has a clue what’s going on 6.  There’s that one person who talks absolute bollocks all day 7. When you announce the company offsite 8. When someone suggests team building 9. People who insist on coming into the office, even though they are sick 10. But when you make it to Friday

B – Bullying At Work

Perhaps a bit of a touchy subject, but what should you do if you are being bullied in the workplace? How do you even know if you are being bullied? And what should you do if you think someone else is a victim of bullying? What Constitutes Bullying? Bullying is defined as using a superior strength to make someone feel inferior or to force them to do something. It doesn’t have to be physical. An awful lot of the time it is verbal or emotional. Someone with a superior emotional strength can use it to bully a colleague. It doesn’t even have to be someone more senior – it could be a junior member of staff intimidating someone more senior. The latter happens less often, but it happens nonetheless – I’ve seen it before. How do you know if you are being Bullied? Sometimes it’s not that easy…

East Midlands Trains

So today I had to journey up from London to Leicester. A trip I’ve only taken once before, this time it was there and back by lunchtime. A little over an hour each way with East Midlands Trains  is pretty convenient for a meeting to be honest, and there are bag fulls of taxis at Leicester station so you can easily get to wherever you need to be (in my case, the Space Centre – a story for another day!). Being the keen bean that I am, I arrived at the magnificent St Pancras station about 45 minutes early so made my way straight to the first class lounge (obvs). I’ve been in several lounges in my time, and this one was probably around average. A couple of tables, some tea and coffee, juice, and the obligatory bowl of individually-wrapped cookies: “perfect for breakfast” was clearly the feeling of one…

Do you Promote your Company?

We hear time and time again that EAs, and all secretarial staff want to be included and to feel part of their teams. Mainly because we are a part of the team – a super important one at that! But how often do we go out of our way to help promote the company for which we work? From my experience, surprisingly little. So where can you start? I work in financial services, and have done for more than 10 years. When I was working for a global investment bank, I didn’t think there was possibly a way I could promote my company, basically because they were too big and I was the tiniest fish in the biggest pond. But I still did. Social Media I utilised my network, including LinkedIn as well as past employers, to help build connections. By understanding what my company did (one of my tips…

A-Z of PAs – A is for Agenda

Every trip and meeting needs an agenda. With the travel ones, even if you don’t give it to the traveller, it’s always good to have one for your own sanity to make sure you’ve not missed anything. For meetings, it is a great way of keeping everyone on track, they can help with the minutes if you are taking any, and they also remind you at a later date what the meeting was about. Save them with a Naming Convention Historically, I’ve used a simple Word template to create my agendas. Nowadays there are cool apps like Travo for your travel ones if you like to keep things electronic (I’m getting there!), but if you keep with Word, you need a naming convention to save them. I know this might sound a little unimportant, but trust me, when you have 20 people travelling at one time and you need to find…

The Malmaison Hotel, Birmingham

Walking up the road from Birmingham New Street Station (notably the wrong road as I, of course, came out of the station by the wrong exit!) I turned the corner to see a very modern looking, rather imposing building; The Malmaison Hotel. (and part of the shopping centre!) I arrived mid afternoon and some of my colleagues had been there all morning so I checked in on my own. When I asked if I could take the room keys for my colleagues so I didn’t greet them empty handed, my request was quickly met by the Malmaison receptionist. Everything had been pre-prepared and I was told that their rooms were ready. Awesome! I made my way to the Work & Play area to find my colleagues. I opened the door to meet a group of disheveled management who had been sitting in this small, windowless room since 9.30am. It was…

Why SMART Objectives Aren’t SMART At All

I’m sure we have all had to make SMART objectives in the past. Either at school or at work, or even for our personal lives. We are taught from a young age that objectives must be SMART. The reasons for this sort of make sense, but all they do is encourage us to be average. Mediocre, even. We are scared to fail, so we make up targets that we are likely to reach. Attainable. So if we work hard and reach them in less time it takes than we thought, what’s the incentive to carry on with that momentum? What’s the point of putting more effort in now when we can wait until next month or quarter or year when it will count towards the next target? I once worked with a guy who was set Attainable targets. He was a trader, and he was tasked with making X…

Revealing what the body language means around the Board Table

One of the most effective ways to make sure your meeting is productive is to know how everyone in the room feels about being there. With that information, you can learn who to directly engage with, or even think about wrapping up the meeting early. If they are all listening and engaged, great. But if not, you might as well not have the meeting at all. How many times have meetings been progressing where half the people in the room are staring at their phones? Staring at phones is a relatively obvious way of recognising that people aren’t engaged. But what else can you look out for? Body language is a more subtle way of working out how they are feeling. For example, if you are standing having a chat to someone look at where their feet are pointing. If they are pointing towards the door, then it means they…